Born in Hamburg, Germany, Richard Lindner became a prominent New York artist known for his erotic and enigmatic portraits, which blend human figures with machine-like components. These expressionistic renderings were initially based on his childhood memories in Germany and then later inspired by the vulgar, fetishistic aspects of life in New York.
Born on November 11, 1901 in Hamburg, Germany, his family moved to Nuremberg in 1905, where his mother ran a boutique corset shop. From 1925 to 1927, Lindner attended the Kunstakademie in Munich, one of the oldest and most significant art academies in Germany. He then became the art director at Knorr & Hirth, a large publishing house, from 1929 to 1933. Avoiding arrest by the Nazi regime due to his Jewish descent, Lindner fled to Paris in the mid-1930s, and finally moved to New York in the early 1940s, becoming a successful illustrator for numerous publications, including Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.
By the 1950s, Lindner decided to focus solely on painting and completely devote his time to his artistic pursuits, infusing Surrealist and Cubist elements into his paintings of streetwalkers, circus women, and men in uniform, all of his favorite subjects rendered with bold outlines and harsh colors.
“The artistic universe of Richard Lindner is unique: he is highly genuine, he is full of urban energy, and he is driven by weird eroticism...Richard Lindner started his career as an artist eventually at the age of 40 in New York. In this metropolitan jungle Lindner created his oeuvre: exciting and powerful images of robot like figures, amazons and heroines, harlequins of self-styled heroes - his artistic panorama of the unruly 60s and 70s of the 20th century" (Claus Clement quoted in Richard Lindner - Paintings, Works on Paper, Graphic - Nuremberg 2001).
In 1952, Lindner began teaching at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, and received the William and Norma Copley Foundation Award in 1957. In 1965, Lindner became Guest Professor at The Hochschule für bildende Künste in Hamburg, Germany, and then began teaching at Yale University in 1967.