Performance Artist – Klaus Rinke

Klaus Rinke

German Artist- Body Art, Performance Art, Sculpture, Action Art

Since the 1960’s Klaus Rinke has played an important part in the international art scene. His work is integral to the radical artistic movements that emerged during that period, which include Performance Art, Body Art, Land Art, Conceptual Art, Process Art and Action Art.

Among the multitude of exhibitions spanning his long artistic career, Rinke has twice been represented at Documenta Kassel and twice at the Biennale of Venice. He has been featured in solo shows at MOMA in New York, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Tate Modern in London and the Haghia Sophia in Istanbul Turkey. Rinke is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the French Minister of Culture’s prestigious Medal of the Chevalier Des Arts et des Lettres. His work is represented in over 66 museums and public collections throughout the world.

Rinke is credited with creating the renowned “Düsseldorf Scene.” In 1968 Rinke conceived of the idea to unite the young Düsseldorf artists for an exhibition at the Kunst Museum Lucerne along with art historian Jean Christophe Ammann. The show was entitled “The Düsseldorf Scene.” The artists originally featured in the show included Joseph Beuys, Jörg Immendorf, Imi Knoebel, Blinky Palermo, Sigmar Polke, Gerhard Richer, and Klaus Rinke.

In his body of work, Rinke explores his concern with the concepts of “duration” and impermanence. To define these concepts, he employs both clocks and water. In 1967 Rinke described water as a “sculptural” material, explaining the process of ladling water into containers as a means to measure time and as a “radical intervention into nature.”

In the mid 1960’s Rinke developed his “Primary Demonstrations” in which he explored the concepts of “masculine and feminine” and the spatiality and temporality of human existence. In these seminal performances, Rinke used his own body and gestures to configure “drawings in space” as a means to measure space and time. These actions took place in nature, galleries or museums. To accompany the movements of his body, Rinke often employed railway clocks and plum bobs. The clocks were meant to represent instruments made by human beings, symbolizing “universal time.” The plum bobs, bobs of lead hanging vertically from plum-lines pointing towards the earth, symbolized the gravity of a point in space or “being earthbound.”

From 1969 to 1976, along with his performances and body art, his work centered on photography where he again incorporated his fascination with time:

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