(Blinky) Palermo (1943–1977) was born Peter Schwarze in Leipzig. In 1962, he entered the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, where he studied with Bruno Goller and then with Joseph Beuys and, in 1964, appropriated the name Blinky Palermo from the American boxing promoter-cum-mafioso Frank “Blinky” Palermo, famous for managing heavyweight champion Sonny Liston. Over the course of his short life, Palermo participated in more than seventy exhibitions worldwide, including Documenta in 1972 and the Venice Biennale in 1975. He has had posthumous retrospectives at the Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Switzerland (1984); Kunstmuseum Bonn (1993); Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) (2002); Kunsthalle Düsseldorf (2007); and Dia:Beacon and the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York (CCS Bard) (2011).

Image: Photo by Helen Winkler Fosdick