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
Houten plaatje met afdruk...
Panamarenko, Houten plaatje met afdruk van Meganeudonvleugel, met vastgeniette zwart-wit foto, 1985. Object, wood, paper, prototype for non-published multiple, 10 x 21 x 0.5 cm (with photo 3.5 x 4.5 cm).
Zonder Titel 087 [Untitle...
Panamarenko, Zonder Titel 087 [Untitled 087]. Sketch, paper, pencil, ink, 30 x 23 cm.
Panamarenko, Wout Vercammen, Yoshio Nakajima, Dr. Hugo Heyrman, KYRPWWAWAX, International Happening News, Happening in een heerlijke stad IV [KYRPWWAWAX, International Happening News], 1965. Poster, black ink, pink paper, 28 x 44 cm.
La Consolation (Oeuvres d...
Yves Aupetitallot, Panamarenko, La Consolation (Oeuvres de la Collection de la Communauté flamande de Belgique/Een keuze uit de verzameling van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap), 1999. Book, ink, paper, 28.7 x 21.5 cm, 95 p, language : French, Dutch, publisher : Magasin-Centre National d'Art Contemporain, Grenoble, ISBN : 2-906732-80-X.
Events View all
The collection XXX – The ...
29 June 2012 - 16 September 2012.
Maarten Vanden Eynde’s project Museum of Forgotten History housed the remains of a possible future past. The exhibition took the form of fict
De première van de hersen...
The Premiere of Brain Expansion in Colour! took place on 16 December 1966 and was the second happening that Panamarenko organised with Hugo H
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
Visite Herentals - Reflec...
04 March 2017 - 26 March 2017.
From 4.3.2017 on M HKA brings a number of works from the permanent collection into Le Paige castle. A local artist reflects on the work of an
Ensembles View all
Since the end of May 2002, the M HKA has strayed from the beaten track of museum catalogues. The M HKA does not consider a systematic thereof
“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
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