obscuring the actualities of his art. Lindner himself was acutely conscious of the differences that separated his work from that of the Pop artists he admired. Interviewed by Dean Swanson in 1969, he spoke of « that European touch of sophistication which, thank God, these Pop people didn’t have. I envy them for that. It is indeed a European consciousness of a particular kind that informs his work even where its imagery is so evidently drawn from American life. If, perhaps, his Portrait of Marcel Proust, painted in 1950, had been better known at the time, and more deeply pondered, we might have had a clearer account of the complexities harbored in his highly enigmatic art. For there is in Lindner’s painting a Proustian reservoir of memory and association, of private symbols and recaptured time, that is quite unlike anything to be found in the work of the Pop artists. The recurrent images and recurrent scenarios that constitute the ‘secret of his art draw from this reservoir their essential poetry-the poetry of an exile and an outsider who found in New York the costumes and the mise en scène and requisite momentum for implementing the fantasies born of an earlier existence.
Lindner belongs to that lost generation of European artists and intellectuals who were nurtured on the comforts and high
culture and cozy repressions of the old bourgeoisie, and were then brutally uprooted by political events, condemned to begin life anew in an alien culture. He is a German Jew, born in Hamburg in 1901, raised in the venerable city of Nuremberg and educated in the art academies of Munich. Until his abrupt departure for Paris in 1933, the day after Hitler came to power, he was well-known as the art director of a large publishing house in Munich. He remains, quintessentially, an intellectual of the Weimar period detached, disabused, and ironical, deeply knowledgeable about the ways of the old culture and yet possessed of a piercing curiosity about the nouveaux frissons of the new world he was obliged to make his own.
Lindner’s art thus inhabits two worlds the world of New York that is dramatically magnified in the garish color and hard-edge forms that are now the basic constituents of his pictorial style, and the world of dreams that has its sources in the romance of his Nuremberg childhood and the pastimes of his early life in Munich. It is an art of fantasy, at once bizarre and outrageous, in which the postures of the mod metropolis re-enact the strategies of distant memories. No other artist of his time has so boldly addressed himself to the sheer his time has so boldly addressed himself to the sheer pitch and velocity