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 029 (Untitle...
Panamarenko, Zonder titel 029 (Untitled 029). Sketch, pencil, ink, paper, 32.5 x 20.5 cm.
Toymodel of Space
Panamarenko, Toymodel of Space, 1993. Installation, mixed media, 00:14:00, 42 x 29 x 5,5 cm, 60 x 40 cm.
Zonder Titel 098 [Untitle...
Panamarenko, Zonder Titel 098 [Untitled 098]. Sketch, paper, ink, 30 x 23 cm.
Events View all
On Taking a Normal Situat...
19 September 1993 - 28 November 1993.
This international exhibition is devised by Yves Aupetitallot, Iwona Blazwick and Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev within the framework of ANTWERP
The collection XXXIII – T...
07 June 2013 - 22 September 2013.
The character of a collection reflected the current priorities of the M HKA collection: the evaluation of Antwerp’s avant-garde tradition; th
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
Engineered to go to Sea
In the 1990s, Panamarenko explored the mysteries of the sea. He devised craft and equipment to dive more rapidly and to float with greater st
“Beauty is in the power of failure” - Panamarenko From the early 1970, Panamarenko tried to transpose the vibration mechanism of insects to
Permanent Collection 2017...
The M HKA collection is built around three approaches to art: image, action and society. While generally works cannot be classified exclusive
Media View all
Panamarenko with the 'General Spinaxis', 1968 Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, General Spinaxis in the first prospect exhibition from Konrad Fischer