past. Artistic figures, stylisation attracted Lindner. Everywhere he came upon secrets This game with secrets struck the Americans. It ran counter to statistics and behaviorism. Artists used to talk about Lindner’s ‘love of secrets’. He constantly tumed the conversation to Kaspar Hauser, Lola Montez or Ludwig II, above all to Karl Valentin, whom he put on a par with Picasso: « Valentin was the German genius.
The Picasso of the Germans. He was as great as Picasso. He did everything himself. I spent a lot of time with him, this native-wit intellectual. « Let us not forget that during his time in Munich Lindner made drawings for Valentin’s autobiography.
Lindner now took on the role of the moral historian amongst the émigrés, replacing Grosz whose critical faculties were crippled by his entrance into the long- yearned-for American dream-world. It is striking that he was now able to cast the same merciless eye on New York that Grosz, Dix and Hubbuch had applied to the Weimar Republic. American themes, the city, advertising, the struggle of the sexes are all served up in such a way that twenties Berlin and literary models as in the writings of Strindberg, Wedekind and Brecht till shine through. Lindner the émigré passes comment on his own time as an outsider. His motifs are fractured and
intriguing, for when we go into the origins of his style and themes we see that he is painting a world of gestures. » He was interested in discovering and recording in pictures the myths of everyday life. By creating an aura he made it possible for us to experience memory and to bear it. We owe some of the most enduring symbols of our time to him. Signs of consumerism, fashion and advertising break into his paintings. Art history makes space for a new source of inspiration, which the artist finds as he walks through the town and through the department store. There Lindner not only finds his themes, but also the way he executes and combines them. He is only interested in people, and even then, only really in city people. Lindner’s machine people, without exception portrayed in garish hues are no longer at risk, they display no moods: they simply function or not like the flippers in the arcades on Broadway.