A. R. Penck was born Ralf Winkler in Dresden in 1939. From 1953 he attended cours­es in drawing and painting given by Jürgen Böttcher (Strawalde). In the 1960s, in addition to paintings, he produced books, sculptures and his first films. In 1969 he first adopted the pseudonym A. R. Penck. In 1972 he was invited to documenta 5 in Kassel, and in 1975 awarded the Will Grohmann Prize of the Academy of Arts, West Berlin. He left the GDR in 1980 and settled in the Federal Republic, in Cologne. From 1988 to 2003 he taught as a professor at the Academy of Art in Düsseldorf, upon retiring he moved to Dublin (Ireland). In 2007 a major retrospective of his oeuvre was exhibited at the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt. Penck died in Zurich in 2017.