Jörg Immendorff was one of the best known contemporary German painters; he was also a sculptor, stage designer and art professor. He was a member of the German art movement Neue Wilde. Best known is his Cafe Deutschland series of sixteen large paintings (1977-1984) that were inspired by Renato Guttuso’s Caffè Greco; in these crowded colorful pictures, Immendorff had disco-goers symbolize the conflict between East and West Germany.
Immendorff was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) in 1998. When he could not paint with his left hand any more, he switched to the right. In 2004 he funded a stipend to research the disease.
In November 2005 he was treated by emergency physicians and was admitted to a hospital, where a tracheotomy had to be performed to help him breathe. As of 2006, he used a wheelchair full-time and did not paint anymore; instead he directed his assistants to paint following his instructions. On May 27, 2007, at age 61, he succumbed to the disease