1940 - 2019
Died in East Flanders (BE), born in Antwerp (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
Kunst in België na 1980
Panamarenko, Jan (Yonah) Foncé (-Zimmerman), Alain Noirhomme, Kunst in België na 1980, 1993. Book, ink, paper, 28 x 21.5 cm, 135 p., language : Dutch, publisher : Koninklijke Musea voor Schone Kunsten van België/Ludion, Brussel/Gent.
Zonder Titel 021 (Untitle...
Panamarenko, Zonder Titel 021 (Untitled 021). Sketch, pencil, paper, 27.5 x 21.5 cm.
Zonder Titel 011 (Untitle...
Panamarenko, Zonder Titel 011 (Untitled 011). Sketch, ink, paper, 30 x 23 cm.
Events View all
INBOX: Wout Vercammen – A...
11 December 2014 - 11 January 2015.
This winter M HKA highlights the work of Wout Vercammen with A well-considered idea of an exhibition in 3 parts, which will be presented as a
28 April 2017 - 31 December 2021.
For the first time, the M HKA will be able to present a permanent collection exhibition with iconic masterpieces from Flemish and internation
Ensembles View all
The Helicopter as a Poten...
“If you're always curious, sometimes a pure idea just comes along…” - Panamarenko In the publication The Helicopter as a Potential Winner,
Permanent Collection 2017...
REMARKABLE PRESENCES A collection grows organically. Aside from its main lines and core references, it is also made up of moments an
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