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  Panamarenko  (1940 - )

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Lived/Active: Belgium      Known for: painting and sculpture

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Henry Van Herwegen is primarily known as Panamarenko

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Biography from Kunsthaus Lempertz:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Panamarenko, pseudonym of Henri Van Herwegen, was born in 1940 in Antwerp.  He is a prominent poetic assemblagist and inventor.  Opening out approaches to the visual arts, since the 1960s he has developed his own unique vision.  His work takes many forms: aeroplanes, flying carpets, cars, flying saucers, submarines, etc.

The devices themselves are profoundly material, composed of tape, wood, plastic, glue, string, rubber bands, copper, etc.  They are also illusionary in their alluding to birds, insects, and fish, and in the expectation that they will actually work, which they do theoretically, and at times in practice.

Like his friend Joseph Beuys, Panamarenko believes that there is a greater function for art beyond the museum.  Panamarenko’s work can be found in all major museums in Belgium.  In 2002 he donated his parental home in Antwerp to the Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp (MuHKA).  In 2005 he announced his retirement as an artist.

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