Monday, September 15, 2008
Blinky Palermo was born Peter Schwarze in Leipzig in 1943. He and his twin brother, Michael, grew up as adopted children under the name Heisterkamp. In 1962 he entered the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, where he studied with Joseph Beuys and, in 1964, adopted the name "Blinky Palermo," which he appropriated from an American boxing promoter and mafioso. In 1968 Palermo showed his Wall Drawings at the Galerie Heiner Friedrich, Munich. After visiting New York with Gerhard Richter in 1970, he established a studio there in 1973. Palermo died in 1977, while traveling in the Maldives. His last work, To the People of New York City (1976–77), was shown at the Heiner Friedrich Gallery, New York, in 1977, and at Dia in 1987. Before his death, Palermo participated in more than seventy exhibitions and represented Germany at the São Paulo Bienal in 1975. He has had posthumous retrospectives at the Kunstmuseum Winterthur (1984) and the Kunstmuseum Bonn (1993).