Richard Lindner (1901-1978)
Property from the Estate of Max Palevsky
Richard Lindner (1901-1978)

Double Portrait

Richard Lindner (1901-1978)
Double Portrait
signed and dated 'R. LINDNER 1965' (lower center)
oil on canvas
40 1/8 x 60 in. (101.9 x 152.5 cm.)
Painted in 1965.
Cordier & Ekstrom, Inc., New York
Miss Helen Mary Harding, New York
Robert Elkon Gallery, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner, 1973
R. Penrose, "Richard Lindner," Art International, vol. 11, no. 1, January 1967, pp. 30 and 32 (illustrated).
J. Perrault, "Venus in Vinyl," Art News, vol. 65, no. 9, January 1967, pp. 46 and 47 (illustrated).
R. Gunter, "Ausstellungen in New York. Richard Lindner," Das Kunstwerk, vol. 20, no. 5/6, February-March 1967, p. 25.
P. Gorsen, Sexualästhetik: Grenzformen der Sinnlichkeit im 20. Jahrhundert, Hamburg, 1987, p. 271.
"Richard Lindner: The Rubens of the Love Generation," Avant-Garde, January 1968, p. 25 (illustrated in color).
D. Ashton, Richard Lindner, New York, 1970, pl. 156 (illustrated in color).
R. Dienst, Lindner. Kunst heute, Stuttgart, 1970, p. 43 (illustrated).
M. Staber, "Symbolfiguren ans Land der Malerei Gezogen; Zum Werk von
Richard Lindner," Kunstnachrichten, vol. 11, no. 2, January 1975, p. 43 (illustrated in color).
W. Spies, Lindner, Paris, 1980, p. 64 (illustrated).
W. Spies, ed., Richard Lindner: Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings, Watercolors, and Drawings, Munich, 1999, p. 82, no. 82 (illustrated).
A. Betsky, Three California Houses: The Homes of Max Palevsky, New York, 2002, pp. 68 and 77 (illustrated in color).
New York, Cordier & Ekstrom, Richard Lindner, January-February 1967.
Leverkusen, Städische Museum; Kunsthalle Baden-Baden; Hanover, Kestner-Gesellschaft and Berlin, Haus am Walsee, Richard Lindner, October 1968-March 1969, no. 63 (illustrated in color; Leverkusen and Baden-Baden) and p. 70, no. 127 (illustrated in color; Hanover and Berlin).
Berkeley, University of California, University Art Museum and Minneapolis, Walker Art Center, Lindner, June-August 1969, pp. 10 and 29, no. 74 (illustrated in color).
New York, Whitney Museum of American Art and Berkeley, University of California, University Art Museum, Human Concern, Personal Torment, October 1969-March 1970, no. 80, frontispiece (illustrated in color).
Paris Musée National d'Art Moderne; Rotterdam, Museum Boymans-van Beuningen; Düsseldorf, Städische Kunsthalle; Kunsthalle Zurich and Kunsthalle Nüremberg, Richard Lindner, January 1974-February 1975, pp. 21 and 34, no. 28 (illustrated).
Saint-Paul de Vence, Fondation Maeght and Liège, Musée Saint-Georges, Richard Lindner, May-October 1976, p. 64, no. 20 (illustrated in color).
Washington, D.C, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and Munich, Haus der Kunst, Richard Lindner: Paintings and Watercolors 1948-197, October 1996-April 1997, pp. 90, 92 and 101, no. 41 (illustrated in color).


Richard Lindner's Double Portrait illuminates very well the artist's unique visual style, with the work's rich blend of European and American motifs and paradoxical amalgam of abstract and figurative elements. This work epitomizes Lindner's distinctive, unhindered mastery of paint's visual language, with its pair of extravagant, statuesque and erotically charged women.

Lindner constructed the two female forms - among the most important figures populating Lindner's unique worldview - by fusing of human and mechanical elements. His characters are often outsiders, people inhabiting society's margins: the statuesque, erotically charged woman, the chubby child prodigy, the mysterious stranger emerging from the shadows. Most important of all is the character Lindner himself most related too: the unappreciated artist and misunderstood genius. Painted in the flat style and bright palette of Pop, muscular, yet also comically feminine, their gaudy spectacles and bright blue makeup contradict the stereotypical image of female beauty and sexuality. Double Portrait is almost abstract, with its intangible shapes and bright colors. Yet we can see the influence of Leger's clear outlines and George Grosz's high-octane sexuality. All this comes together to produce a highly emotional, visually charged canvas.

Lindner owes his seemingly contradictory style to his peripatetic childhood. Growing up in both Europe and the United States exposed Lindner to an infinite variety of visual styles from which to develop his own voice. He found a freedom that built on the previous generation's liberation. As the critic Dore Ashton points out, this meant his work "partakes freely of all the resources at the command of the modern artist without prejudice. He allows for both literary and formal expressive possibilities, uses cryptic allusion, and looks both at the present and the future. Nothing is tabu [sic], nothing is beyond potential use" (D. Ashton, "Richard Lindner: The Secret of the Inner Voice," Lindner, Berkeley, 1969, p. 6).