1901 Hamburg – 1978 New York
Richard Lindner’s art unites the world of his childhood in Nuremberg, his youth in Munich, the Germany of the 1920s with everyday American life, the colourful magazines and the television of the post-war period. With an exact brushstroke, he paints his figure theatre in the finest Pop Art manner, at the same time in the tradition of European masters such as Schlemmer, Léger or Balthus and under the influence of his longstanding professional practice as an illustrator until 1962.
Richard Lindner studied at the Nuremberg School of Applied Arts (1922-1924), then at the Munich Art Academy (1924-1927) and finally in Berlin (1927/28). He then took on a position as artistic director of a publishing house in Munich. Until 1933 he worked as an illustrator for newspapers, magazines and book publications. Lindner fled to Paris in 1933 after Hitler seized power, where he tried to make a living as a commercial artist. In 1941 he finally moved to the United States. There he initially illustrated book publications and high-quality magazines. In 1948, Lindner obtained American citizenship. It was not until 1950 that he began to appear in public with his painting. His first, commercially unsuccessful solo exhibition took place in 1954 in the Betty Parsons’ gallery. In 1956 he became a lecturer in design at the Pratt Institute (from 1960 he was an assistant professor) and in 1957 guest artist at the Yale University School of Art and Architecture in New Haven. In 1959 he met Andy Warhol. After another New York solo exhibition in 1961, a monograph on Lindner appeared, and in 1962 one of his paintings was shown in an exhibition of recent American art in the Museum of Modern Art. Between 1962 and 1965 Lindner had solo exhibitions in London and Paris. In addition to Lindner’s contributions, the Museum of Modern Art showed works by Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, James Rosenquist and Andy Warhol in the exhibition “Americans 63”. Lindner was now internationally known and his works gave him the desired financial breakthrough.
As a visiting professor, he lectured at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg in 1965. Finally, he finished teaching at the Pratt Institute in 1966 to focus entirely on painting. In 1968 he took part in the 4th documenta in Kassel and a museum retrospective was dedicated to him in Leverkusen, Hanover, Baden-Baden and Berlin. A year later, his first retrospective in the United States took place in Berkeley, California and Minneapolis. Lindner now lived alternately in New York and Paris. In 1972 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1974 the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris presented a retrospective that travelled also to Rotterdam, Düsseldorf, Zurich, Nuremberg and Vienna. In 1977, the last major retrospective of Lindner’s lifetime took place in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. In 1977, one year before his death, Lindner was again represented at the documenta.