PANAMARENKO (1940 - 2019)
Henri Van Herwegen, known as Panamarenko, was born in Antwerp in 1940 and died on 14 December 2019.
In the 1950s, he attended the Antwerp Academy of Fine Arts and at the same time acquired extensive knowledge of the physical sciences, chemistry and mechanics.
During this period, always on the lookout for new materials and new possibilities for action, he carried out the most incredible experiments with strange and artificial materials together with Hugo Heyrman.
He coined his pseudonym, a possible contraction of Pan American and Co, or perhaps the name of a Soviet general heard on the radio.
In 1965, under his now definitive pseudonym, Panamarenko took part in a series of happenings, letting himself be guided by this chance, to which he attributed his meeting with Joseph Beuys, who invited him to exhibit at the Düsseldorf Academy in 1968.
His first known works already mixed the laws of physics with a playfulness close to cartoons: Magnetic shoes (with matching padded hat) for walking "on" a metal ceiling, etc.
Over the years, his identity has been revealed as a constant exploration of space, movement and gravity.
The expression of this movement, both poetic and scientific, will take the most diverse forms.
Flying or rolling machines, motorised or not, manufactured or remaining in the state of models, to which Panamarenko brings a scientific attention nourished by the study of insect flight, energy sources, propulsion, without ever losing sight of his ultimate intention as an artist: the poetic symbiosis with nature and the elements
In 1967, he built his first plane, inaugurating the long series of flying machines (Flying Carpet, 1980, drawing). Panamarenko continued this approach with his creation of "Rucksack", individual engines that can be carried like a backpack, "Aeromodeller", exhibited at Documenta 5 in Kassel, and other creations, sometimes in model form, sometimes on a human scale. These creations mix references to insect life, such as a spring mechanism producing the vibrations of the wings, as in "Magameudon I" in 1972, or to allusions to Leonardo da Vinci and to great technical sophistication, such that most of these devices are actually capable of functioning (Bernouilli, 1995, various materials and motor). Panamarenko also dealt with underwater life (Scaphandre de l'homme de guerre portugais, 1990).
Panamarenko leaves us on 14 December 2019
20 x 20 x 15 cm
48.5 x 63 cm
Sérigraphie en couleur édition XI/XV signée
Bing Motor B/edition
33 x 44 cm
Lithographie édition 150/150 signée
Billet de 500
21 x 27 cm
Billet de 500 francs belges Magritte signé PANAMARENKO avec le stamp North Sea Depot