Martin Kippenberger – Selfportrait, 1982, from the series hand-painted pictures, oil on canvas, size: 180,4 x 149,8 cm / 71 x 59 in. © Christie’s London
About this Artwork
In Martin Kippenberger’s remarkable series of self-portraits from 1988, he pictures himself with a touching lack of vanity. An exaggerated beer belly, folds of fat, a thick neck, and dejected posture present a melancholic, awkward and somewhat grumpy figure. He wears immense white underpants pulled up high on his hips – rather like a well-known photograph of Picasso.
About Martin Kippenberger
Martin Kippenberger (1953-1997, Dortmund, Germany). An extremely prolific artist, Kippenberger worked in multiple mediums including painting, sculpture, installation, drawing, posters, photography and collage. He was influenced early on by the work of Sigmar Polke and Gerhard Richter. Through the years, he developed a diverse style that did not shy away from caustic political commentary. His harsh criticism of the artistic status quo and daily life issues became evident through provocative imagery and recurring motifs that in many cases represented the artist himself and aimed at shocking and disturbing the viewer. Kippenberger’s caustic and humorous works call into question the artist’s role within society and culture at large, as well as deeper issues of general culture and humanity. His famous Zuerst die Füsse (Feet First) from 1990, a self-mocking sculpture of a crucified frog with an egg and a beer mug, was created in response to harsh criticism that the artist received in an art publication. This unrestrained, bountiful commentary about the world around him is what makes Kippenberger’s oeuvre so powerful and compelling. Every aspect of Martin Kippenberger’s practice was a self-contained act of decadence, designed to add to the myth of the artist as a whole. In I Am Too Political, Martin Kippenberger paints an image stripped of direct content: six canvases joined together as one form a billboard-like design, bolstering a grotesque nude. Kippenberger’s painting operates as an anti-advert for itself, poking fun at the tradition of painting and the way it’s been historically and ideologically subverted. Sharp-witted self-irony was a large part of Martin Kippenberger’s strategy: borrowing from all aspects of culture ensured his own relevance within it. Kippenberger’s architecture paintings are a grandiose epitome of ego, and a megalomaniac approach to urban design. His buildings are the most enduring form of creation, with city planning the ultimate tribute of power and genius. Martin Kippenberger developed an elaborate concept of aesthetics where the trivial and the subcultural became as influential on his working practice as the masterpieces of art history. Often sparked off by the banality of life, by politics, media and advertising, for Kippenberger there was no subject which could not be turned into art.
Both within his life, and since his passing, Martin Kippenberger’s work has been exhibited extensively throughout the United States and Europe. Recent solo exhibitions have been held in institutions such as the Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin in 2013, the Picasso Museum in Málaga, 2011, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, 2008-2009, the Tate Modern in London and the K21 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen in Düsseldorf in 2006, the Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig in Vienna, the VanAbbe Museum in Eindloven and the Museum für Neue Kunst in Karlsruhe and at the Kunsthalle Tübingen, Tübingen in 2003.
Martin Kippenberger: ‘Italienischer Teller (Italian Plate)’, 1997, published for documenta X, 1997. Porcelain plate with relief typography, 26 cm (10¼”) diam., edition of 150, initialled in the moulding. Price upon request
Martin Kippenberger – Eierfrau, 1996, etching, aquatinta, size: 57 x 44 cm, edition of 24. – SOLD –
Martin Kippenberger – Burlington meets Burberries II, 1996, etching, aquatinta, with the stamp of the Martin Kippenberger Estate, picture size: 39,5 x 29,5 cm, sheet: 57 x 44 cm, edition of 24 + 6 AP. Price upon request
Martin Kippenberger: ‘Untitled’, 1996, Aquatint and etching on Somerset 300 gr. size image: 75,5 x 62,7, size sheet:104 x 78 cm. Edition of 24, Estate stamped. Price upon request
Martin Kippenberger: ‘Airblaster’, 1996, Photogravure, Set of 3:
Martin Kippenberger: ‘Airblaster’, 1996, Photogravure on Somerset 300 gr, Set of 3, edition of 24, Estate stamped. Price upon request
Martin Kippenberger: “Schlecht belegte Studentenpizza gepollockt / Poorly topped student pizza, pollocked”, 1993, 1/4 Pizza, wooden sculpture, signed, numbered, edition of 28 size: 22 x 30 x 2,5 cm. This multiple was issued in 3 variations: full pizza, half and quarter slices. Ref. “Kippenberger: Multiples,” Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne’, 2003, 120-121 pp. Publisher: Printed Matter, New York, USA. Price upon request
Martin Kippenberger: “Schlecht belegte Studentenpizza gepollockt / Poorly topped student pizza, pollocked”, 1993, Full Pizza, wooden sculpture, signed, numbered, edition of 28, 10 + 5 AP, size: diameter 45,1 cm / 17 3/4 inches, Publisher: Printed Matter, New York, USA. This multiple was issued in 3 variations: full pizza, half and quarter slices. Ref. “Kippenberger: Multiples,” Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne’, 2003, 120-121 pp. Price upon request
Martin Kippenberger: ‘Mutti hol mich von der Zeche, ich kann das Schwatte nicht mehr sehn’, 1983, Collage printed on a gray plastic plate plus a printed plexiglass plate on serigraphy in gold, black, gray and red / cardboard, size: 61 x 80 cm, signiert, datiert. – SOLD –
Martin Kippenberger: Ce Calor, Original Exhibition poster ‘Museo Contemporáneo de Sevilla’, 1989, framed with passpartout, size: 33 x 23 5/8 inches (83.82 x 60 cm). Price upon request
Literature: Kippenberger, Hardcover – December 1, 2014 by Angelika Taschen (Editor), Burkhard Riemschneider, Publisher TASCHEN
Martin Kippenberger: The Problem Perspective Hardcover – September 26, 2008 by Ann Goldstein (Editor), Lisa Gabrielle Mark (Editor)
Film: Martin Kippenberger: Yuppi Du – click here!