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Archive for September 23rd, 2022

Lindner Redux

Stranger No. 2 1958 by Richard Lindner 1901-1978

Richard Lindner- Stranger No. 2, 1958



“An artist must remain a child, with an interest in unimportant things.”

“I never do colour sketches. I do colour on the canvas. I have always felt that in order to be a good painter one should be colour-blind because the colour doesn’t have to be seen. It only needs to be felt.”

–Quotes from Richard Lindner



Richard lindner Double PortraitI’ve been going through some books on my shelves that I haven’t looked at for some time and came across a smallish book on the work of Richard Lindner (1901-1978), who was a German born painter who fled Hitler and moved to New York at the beginning of World War II. He worked as an illustrator for Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar before embarking on his painting career. Lindner also taught at the Pratt Institute then later at Yale before his death in 1978.

His work was obviously a big influence on the Pop Art movement of the 60’s. If you remember the artwork for the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine film, you can easily see how Lindner’s work Richard Lindner The Coupleguided the hand of the film’s artist. While most people think was Peter Max, the artist was actually Heinz Edelman. This misconception probably shows Lindner’s influence on Peter Max as well.

I also can see Lindner in some of Terry Gilliam‘s animations for Monty Python. The Beatles paid tribute to Lindner by inserting his image in the group of figures on the cover of their classic Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album. He is between Laurel and Hardy in the second row from the top in the image at the bottom of this page.

Probably no surprise that I am really attracted to Lindner’s colors and use of forms. His colors have gradations and complexities that give his work added dimension. His shapes and lines are strong and sure. It is work that demands an immediate response, even if it’s negative, and I really respect that.

Richard Lindner  FBI On East 69th StreetOne of my favorites is shown to the right here, FBI On East 69th Street.  I have no idea whether he was influenced by Lindner’s work (although I wouldn’t be surprised), but when I look at this painting I can only think of David Bowie, especially in the early 70’s in the Glam era of rock.

Again, the strength of the color and shapes as well as how his figures fill the picture frame, excite me.  How I might take this excitement and make it work within my own work is something that remains to be seen.  It may not be discernible but seeing work that makes your own internal wheels spin will show up in some manner.  We’ll have to see if this comes through in the near future.



The post above first ran back in 2013 and I’ve added a few things including two quotes from Lindner, the image from Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper album cover, and a video compilation of Lindner’s work that is curiously set to Brahms. Seems like it should have been the Beatles or something with a Pop Art feel. But it still works.

I love the quote about maintaining a childish interest in unimportant things. I can relate to that…



Richard Lindner The Meeting

Richard Lindner Rock-RockRichard Lindner Telephone

Beatles Sgt. Pepper Full Cover Shoot

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