Martin Kippenberger, ‘Untitled (Self-portrait)’, 1979, Skarstedt Gallery

About Martin Kippenberger

Martin Kippenberger emerged amidst Neo-Expressionism as an artistic provocateur. Taking on a range of figures and movements—from his proclaimed hero Pablo Picasso to Pop, Minimalism, Socialist Realism, and Expressionism—Kippenberger’s prolific paintings, sculptures, and installations commented on the modern world and the artist’s role in it. He explored concepts like consumerism, originality, and self-mythology, and struggled with the “perceived death of painting.” In 1987, he turned a monochrome canvas by Gerhard Richter into a coffee table; in his series “Lieber Maler, Male Mir” (“Dear Painter, Paint for Me”), he commissioned a commercial artist named Werner to produce several works, then signed them “Werner Kippenberger”. Kippenberger is also known for his many self-portraits—often inserting himself into historical paintings—and for his “Peter” sculptures of readymade objects presented as artworks. “My style is where you see the individual and where a personality is communicated through actions, decisions, single objects and facts, where the whole draws together to form a history,” he once said.

German, 1953-1997, Dortmund, Germany, based in Vienna, Austria