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German painter A.R. Penck dies at 77

Associated Press logo Associated Press 3/05/2017

BERLIN — German artist A.R. Penck, whose work featuring primitive depictions of people and animals is recognized as an important example of the new figurative style in Europe, has died.

Germany's dpa news agency reported that Penck died Tuesday age 77 in Zurich after a lengthy illness. It cited the Michael Werner Gallery, which first exhibited his work in the late 1960s.

Penck was born in Dresden as Ralf Winkler. Despite being refused by several East German art schools he taught himself painting and sculpting, gaining attention in the West.

Eventually Penck was expelled by the Communist government in 1980, and the division of Germany frequently featured as a theme in his work.

An exhibition of his work at the Fondation Maeght museum, near Nice, France, runs until June 18.

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