acrylic on ivory-coloured Velin
147 x 248 cm (57 7/8 x 97 5/8 in.)
signed and titled lower right
Penck often refers to political themes in his work, and so the present work "Distribution of the Prey" can also be understood as an ironic commentary on the problematic merger of the FRG and the GDR, which was also figuratively about the distribution of the "prey". The prey-bearing animal, the hunter and the hunted, are also typical themes that Penck repeatedly takes up and varies in his complex oeuvre and also processes in his lyrical texts. In the large-format work "Distribution of the Prey," a predator, possibly a tiger, carries away a captured animal in its mouth. Above it, vultures circle, waiting for their share of the prey. His pictorial inventions draw from a variety of sources, ranging from cave paintings to ancient hieroglyphics to African tribal art. The figurative representation is thus also permeated by a complex ornamental-symbolic pattern that takes on a completely abstract life of its own, especially on the animal's body. It refers to Penck's non-objective and abstract works, whose pictorial language the artist, in addition to the figurative works, has consistently developed since the 1960s.