Blinky Palermo | the artist




The artist Blinky Palermo
Born 1943, Leipzig, Germany.
Died 1977 Kurumba, Maladiven.

Style and technique of the artist: Painting, Minimal Art,

Birthname: Peter Heisterkamp.


Biography and art, auction, artworks, interview, statement, website:









Original artworks, prints, exhibition posters, monographs, books, collectibles.

blinky palermo
Works in the Tate collection

blinky palermo
Untitled work

blinky palermo
In the catalogue that accompanies this large-scale retrospective devoted to Blinky Palermo, chapters bear titles such as ‘New York Conversations about Blinky’ and ‘On Palermo’, in which Benjamin Buchloh and Lynne Cooke chat informally about the artist. These texts set a tone that is light and warmly familiar but also full of profound esteem: after all, Palermo is an artist of near-mythical stature. When he died unexpectedly in 1977 aged only 33, Palermo left behind a stripped-down oeuvre that embraced painting, object and installation and which was to exert a huge influence on art history…

blinky palermo
To the People of New York City (1976–77), by the German artist Blinky Palermo, is a fifteen-part work comprising thirty-nine individual paintings. Palermo completed it in January 1977, not long before his untimely death. Although he had relocated to New York in the last few years of his life, he realized the work in his studio in Düsseldorf. The cycle was shown from May to June 1977 at the Heiner Friedrich Gallery, New York, and again ten years later at Dia…

blinky palermo
Untitled work in the MOMA collection

blinky palermo
Artists need a memorable, resonant name. If you haven’t a good one of your own, it’s worth inventing or stealing one. How Peter Schwarze became Blinky Palermo is uncertain. Adopted not long after his birth in Leipzig in 1943, Schwarze was registered Peter Heisterkamp. Later, when he was a student under Joseph Beuys at the Dusseldorf Kunstakademie, facing the perennial question of who or what kind of artist to be, he took the name Blinky Palermo. Perhaps Beuys, himself one of the great self-mythologists of 20th-century art, gave him the moniker. Or perhaps it was a fellow student who rechristened him, recognising that Schwarze bore a resemblance to an infamous Italian-American mobster in the fight game…



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