Richard Lindner 1901-1978
T00877 Stranger No. 2
Inscribed 'R. Lindner | 1958' b.l.
Oil on canvas, 60 x 40 (152.5 x 101.5)
Presented by the artist through the American Federation of Arts 1967
Exh: 12 Paintings, Richard Lindner, Betty Parsons Gallery, New York, February-March 1959 (no catalogue); Richard Lindner Paintings: Ten Years, Cordier and Warren, New York, October 1961 (no catalogue); Richard Lindner, Robert Fraser Gallery, London, June-July 1962 (5); Painting and Sculpture of a Decade 1954-64, Tate Gallery, April-June 1964 (63, repr.); Richard Lindner, Galerie Claude Bernard, Paris, May-June 1965 (works not numbered, repr.); Richard Lindner, Städtisches Museum, Schloss Morsbroich, Leverkusen, October-November 1968 (42, repr.); Kestner-Gesellschaft, Hanover, December 1968-January 1969 (42, repr.); Staatliche Kunsthalle, Baden-Baden, January-March 1969 (42, repr.); Richard Lindner, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris, January-March 1974 (16, repr. in colour); Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam, March-May 1974 (16, repr. in colour); Städtische Kunsthalle, Düsseldorf, May-July 1974 (16, repr. in colour); Kunsthaus, Zurich, August-September 1974 (16, repr. in colour); Museum des 20. Jahrhunderts, Vienna, October-November 1974 (16, repr. in colour); Kunsthalle, Nuremberg, December 1974-January 1975 (16, repr. in colour)
Lit: Sidney Tillim, Richard Lindner (Chicago 1960), n.p., repr. pl.14; Dore Ashton, 'Richard Lindner "The Secret of the Inner Voice"' in Studio International, CLXVII, 1964, pp.15-16, repr. p.14; Dore Ashton, Richard Lindner (New York 1969), pp.20, 39 and 42, repr. pl.65 in colour; Rolf-Gunter Dienst, Richard Lindner (London 1970), p.15, repr. pl.15
'Stranger No. 1' 1958 depicts a man in a felt hat admiring an enormous schematically-drawn woman in a corset. Tillim relates the theme to Lindner's growing involvement at this time with American life, and in particular with its brassiness and its popular, commercial art and literature. The dotted lines in 'Stranger No. 2', on the other hand, are an obvious reference to the 'fold here' lines of cardboard cut-out toys on breakfast cereals and the like, and the figure seems to be in process of turning into a mechanism or a mechanical diagram. As Rolf-Gunter Dienst has pointed out: 'The abstract forms are arranged like statuary, sharply contrasting with one another in terms of colour and shape, and seem to illustrate the transformation of the human being into a machine, a functional, obedient apparatus.'
The artist confirmed that both were painted in the same year and that 'Stranger No. 2' was a somewhat later work than 'Stranger No. 1', but he could not recall what the exact interval was between them. There are no other pictures of this title (information from A.H. Ekstrom 13 June 1968).
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.446-7, reproduced p.446