Richard Lindner

By: Gary Panter
November 11, 2014

Richard Lindner's SHOOT (1969)
Richard Lindner’s SHOOT (1969)

After World War II, RICHARD LINDNER (1901–78), who’d fled Germany and fought in the French Army, moved to the US, where he made a remarkable impression on the art scene of his time. His paintings use the precisely shaped, flat, rendered, colorful elements of late (1914–21) Cubism — the hard geometry of the so-called Orphists, the mechanically shaded truncated additive columns of Léger’s figures, the flags and emblems of Synthetic Cubism — to depict a world of seedy, jazzy, criminal, sexed-up human monsters. Though he was also a manic satiric cartoonist like George Grosz and Saul Steinberg, Lindberg’s paintings presaged Pop, not to mention Heinz Edelmann’s big-footed Victorian dayglo work for The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine. He posed unshaven guys in slouch hats, flashing sexbombs in bondage-wear, and car grilles in the outer darkness of unspecified big cities; his work — particularly the helmeted girls licking ice cream cones and polychrome Indian chiefs — resemble a catalog for bikers’ embroidered jacket patches. (My own introduction to Lindner was his 1966 painting Rock-Rock, which I visited at the Dallas Museum of Art whenever my school’s marching band was performing at the Cotton Bowl.) Ahead of his time, Lindner is now mostly forgotten — but his saucy influence endures.

HILO HERO ITEMS by GARY PANTER: Tadanori Yokoo | Peter Saul | Yasuji Tanioka | H.C. Westermann | Öyvind Fahlström | Cal Schenkel | Eduardo Paolozzi | Tod Dockstader | Yayoi Kusama | Walter Lantz | Richard Lindner | Shigeru Sugiura | Todd Rundgren | Yoshikazu Ebisu | Jim Nutt | Judy Henske | Tod Dockstader | Jesse Marsh | Tetsumi Kudo | Larry Poons | Ed Sanders | Dick Briefer | Dick Briefer

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On his or her birthday, HiLobrow irregularly pays tribute to one of our high-, low-, no-, or hilobrow heroes. Also born this date: Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Carlos Fuentes, U-God, Kurt Vonnegut, Milicent Patrick.

READ MORE about members of the Hardboiled Generation (1894-1903).

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Art, HiLo Heroes