Blinky Palermo: To the People of New York City

Texts by Lynne Cooke, Pia Gottschaller, Jaleh Mansoor, Anne Rorimer, Bernhart Schwenk, and Dieter Schwarz

Shortly before his death in 1977, German painter Blinky Palermo created his most significant cycle of paintings, dedicating it “to the people of nyc.” The work consists of 15 parts, composed from 40 painted aluminum panels arranged in combinations of cadmium red, cadmium yellow, and black. Recalling Piet Mondrian’s late series New York City (1941-42), and works by such American artists as Robert Ryman and Brice Marden, To the People of New York City (1976) is distinguished by its prescribed hanging and pacing, and its rhythmically changing formats, which also bring to mind the Jazz performances that Palermo sought out during his time in New York, where he had maintained a studio from 1973 to 1975. This handsome edition discusses To the People of New York City–today in the collection of New York’s Dia Art Foundation–within this context and alongside works by his former teacher Joseph Beuys, and his long-time friends and colleagues Imi Knoebel and Gerhard Richter, among others.


Publisher: Richter Verlag

Artists: Palermo

Contributors: Lynne Cooke, Pia Gottschaller, Jaleh Mansoor, Anne Rorimer, Dieter Schwarz, Bernhart Schwenk

Publication Date: 2009

Binding: Hardcover

Dimensions: 7 1/2 x 10 in (19.1 x 25.4 cm)

Pages: 208

Reproductions: 101 color, 31 b&w

ISBN: 9783937572529

Retail: $60 US & Canada | £40 | €39

Status: Available


(Blinky) Palermo (1943–1977) was born Peter Schwarze in Leipzig. In 1962, he entered the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, where he studied with Bruno Goller and then with Joseph Beuys and, in 1964, appropriated the name Blinky Palermo from the American boxing promoter-cum-mafioso Frank “Blinky” Palermo, famous for managing heavyweight champion Sonny Liston. Over the course of his short life, Palermo participated in more than seventy exhibitions worldwide, including Documenta in 1972 and the Venice Biennale in 1975. He has had posthumous retrospectives at the Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Switzerland (1984); Kunstmuseum Bonn (1993); Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) (2002); Kunsthalle Düsseldorf (2007); and Dia:Beacon and the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York (CCS Bard) (2011).

All Palermo books