Born in Antwerp (BE), lives in East Flanders (BE).
Panamarenko was born in Antwerp in 1940. He is an artist. But also an inventor, technician, mathematician, philosopher and visionary. And all at the same time. He has made hovering constructions, flying rucksacks, helicopters with pedals, airships, maybeetles, submarines and walking chickens. Panamarenko appears in the early 1960s, at first often as Panamarenko Multimillionair. The signature is something to do with the airline PanAm (the desire to leave the earth behind being one of his constant preoccupations), with Panama (the word painted on the Aeromodeller inflatable airship meant to fly to the Sonsbeek open-air exhibition in the Netherlands in 1971) and with the name of a Soviet politician, Panteleimon Ponomarenko, picked up from a radio broadcast. After studying art in Antwerp, Panamarenko started exhibiting in 1963. He would appear with the artist Hugo Heyrman, dressed in identical double-breasted white suits. The seven photocopied issues of Happening News (1965–1966) document the happenings they organised together as V.A.G.A. (‘Free Action Group Antwerp’). Later he devised a mechanism for the movement of an insect’s wings even before scientists discovered it. He has formulated a credible concept for steering spaceships.
It is virtually impossible to categorise this artist’s work in a particular style or movement in contemporary art. This is because of the unique and innovative nature of his oeuvre. Panamarenko was always exploring new avenues by means of drawings, writings and calculations. He showed things that were not fully visible and for this purpose relied on his imagination. His combination of artistic insight and technological experiment gives his spectacular constructions an odd sort of beauty, both playful and imposing. ‘I am not a scientist, nor someone who makes art objects. To me the most important thing is that the things I make occasionally contain a sort of poetry.’ In 2005, on his sixty-fifth birthday, Panamarenko announced the end of his artistic career. The fax was as concise as it was unexpected: ‘It is 2005 and I am 65. I am ceasing all activities. Kind regards. Panamarenko’
Items View all
Zonder Titel 104 [Untitle...
Panamarenko, Zonder Titel 104 [Untitled 104]. Sketch, ink, paper, 30 x 23 cm.
Ronde stempel Panamarenko...
Panamarenko, Ronde stempel Panamarenko Multimiljonair, 1965. Object, 6 x 6 x 3.5 cm.
Man Powered Flight (Techn...
Keith Sherwin, Panamarenko, Man Powered Flight (Technical publication), 1971. Book, ink, paper, 21.6 x 15.2 cm, 176 p, language : English, publisher : Model & Allied Publications Ltd., Hemel Hempstead.
Panamarenko, Snijboon Helikopter. Drawing, pencil, watercolor, pen, paper, 33 x 21 cm.
Events View all
Panamarenko – Multiples 1...
08 October 2003 - 22 February 2004.
In the Multiples 1966-2003 exhibition, an ensemble was presented of over one hundred objects, lithos and pictures by Panamarenko. Such an ove
03 October 2014 - 29 March 2015.
Panamarenko Universum was the big and exclusive return of Panamarenko (born in 1940, Antwerp) to his hometown of Antwerp. The retrospective P
Urgent Conversations Athe...
31 October 2016 - 05 February 2017.
Urgent Conversations: Athens – Antwerp is the first temporary exhibition in the long overdue public unfolding of the Greek National Museum of
Ensembles View all
“I always want a poster to have a special impact, an impact that goes far beyond the purely informational aspect. I use the poster to show b
As well as imposing craft, as from the end of the 1990s Panamarenko also built small but intelligent birds and walking robots. The intelligen
Temporary residence and atelier At Documenta V in Kassel, Swiss gallery owner Marc Hostettler from Neuchatel became acquainted with Panamar
Matter as Meaning
MATTER AS MEANING This notion came to our mind when pairing works by Panamarenko, Nikos Kessanlis and Jan Henderikse. Matter, in a na
Media View all
Panamarenko with the 'General Spinaxis', 1968 Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, General Spinaxis in the first prospect exhibition from Konrad Fischer