Adapting all the elements of a nineteenth century allegory, Jorg Immendorff’s Back to Front is a political manifesto rendered through symbolism.

Jorg Immendorff presents a canvas divided in three parts: labour, knowledge and possibility. His central figure, a goddess-like woman embodying an owl of wisdom, is the icon nurture and virtue, radiant against the bleak background of storm clouds and darkness. Through her flows a stream of fertility and rebirth in the form of labia-like fruits, proffered from the toil of the rural worker.

In the foreground, Jorg Immendorff depicts the present as an arid and cracked soil. His egg – reminiscent of the globe – offers hope for the future, weighting down a manuscript stating: ‘Society with a lack: industry, pride, honesty, respect before Art.’

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