Martin Kippenberger

Martin Kippenberger Exhibited at The Saatchi Gallery

Martin Kippenberger
Self Portrait


oil on canvas

200 x 240cm
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.
Martin Kippenberger
Capri by Night


oil on canvas

50 x 60 cm
Martin Kippenberger
Dear Painter, Paint Me


oil on canvas

50 x 60 cm
Martin Kippenberger
Design for the Improvement of Backstroke in Rio I & II


acrylic, silicone, sand, plaster on linen canvas and towelling

179.6 x 150 cm
Martin Kippenberger
Paris Bar Berlin


Oil on Cotton

212 x 382cm
In Paris Bar, Martin Kippenberger writes his own importance in art history. Acting as curator, he installed the café’s art collection; then as shameless self-promoter, he painted the café interior. Reminiscent of eighteenth and nineteenth century paintings of salon interiors, Martin Kippenberger places himself on a par with the masters, drawing on early 20th century American art.
Martin Kippenberger
Kellner Des...


Oil on Canvas

200 x 240cm
Kellner Des… derives from a stereotype cartoon image of a bent street lamp. Without the figure of the drunk leaning against it, Martin Kippenberger’s deadpan Austrian street is completely empty of human life. To reconfirm the painterliness of the image and the dysfunctional nature of the lamp, he has placed two real wall lights either side of the painted street lamp, to bring a glow of comfort to an otherwise cold and deserted scene. Kellner Des… also once hung in the Paris Bar.
Martin Kippenberger
Portrait of Paul Schreber


1994, oil on canvas

240 x 200cm
Paul Schreber was a senior judge in Germany in the 1870s, whose mental breakdown was recorded in his autobiography Memoirs of a Nervous Illness. Like Jung and Freud, Martin Kippenberger was fascinated by Schreber’s record of life in a mental institution, and presents the viewer with an insight into Schreber’s brain.
Martin Kippenberger


Oil and Spraypaint on Canvas

120 x 100cm
A dashed-off slacker anthem to portraiture, Martin Kippenberger’s Mr Lonely manages to be sparky and buoyant, melancholy and pierced all at once, in a few seemingly casual brush strokes.
Martin Kippenberger
I Am Too Political


Oil on Canvas

180 x 225cm
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.
Martin Kippenberger
U.N. Building - The home of Peace


Oil and Silicone on Linen

240 x 200cm
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.

In U.N.Building, Martin Kippenberger renders a blueprint of complete dysfunctionality: chunky shapes of cubism gone wrong, engulfed in a forbearing scribbled black smoke. His fragmented canvas adds to the image’s instability, the bottom right section providing only the scantest hint of solid foundation, from which his topsy-turvy metropolis might aspire.
Martin Kippenberger


Oil and Silicone on Canvas

155 x 180cm
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.

In New York zum Russich Abbinden the romance of the New York skyline is dramatically broken by a fusion of compositional and painterly effects. Taking a subject as serious as the Cold War which had reached a critical moment in the mid-1980’s, the work consists of four quadrant canvases joined together within a single frame, placing a permanent ‘crosshair’ on the New York landscape. The hairline gaps between the canvases and the thick silicon under and over the painted surface add a dramatic sense of fragility and corruption to this universal symbol of Western capitalism and power.
Martin Kippenberger
Untitled Lieber Maler, male mir… (Dear Painter, paint for me...)


Oil on Canvas

200 x 130cm
Rooted in the daily life of the painter Ohne Titel (Lieber Maler, male mir…) is a work that demonstrates this consistent aspect of Kippenberger’s work more clearly than most. Shot from the back, the photograph on which the painting is based depicts two evidently close and almost tragi-comic figures heading on a bar crawl through the streets of Düsseldorf. The ordinariness of the scene and the fact that it is daylight with the streets still full of people underscores both the mundaneness and the gritty realism of the image. It is both an intimate and tender image of ordinariness, made epic and extraordinary by its magnification and translation into a slick photorealist oil painting.

Lieber Maler, male mir…(Dear Painter, paint for me…) is one of the earliest and most important series of Kippenberger’s works. It is a series of twelve paintings that Kippenberger commissioned to be made for him by the film poster painter known as ‘Mr Werner’. The delegation of the making of this series of paintings to another is not only a clear dig at the earnestness and supposed ‘authenticity’ of the very ‘painterly’ Neo-Expressionist art, then currently in vogue in Germany, but also a firm statement about Kippenberger’s sense of identity as an ‘art/business/life artist’. As such the Lieber Maler, male mir… series forms one of the few lynchpins through which much of the later diversity and eclecticism of Kippenberger’s oeuvre can begin to be understood.
Martin Kippenberger
Deep Little Throat


Pigment and Latex on Canvas

180 x 150cm
Deep Little Throat reverberates with perverse seduction. Made from fetishist black rubber, it bares all the boiled-over passion of a randy night in the sack. Depicting two ‘pillows’ bouncing on a diving board, Martin Kippenberger takes a dumbed-down, humorous look at sex with its awkward subculture of taboo and embarrassment.
Martin Kippenberger
Untitled (Floating Figures)


Oil on Canvas

170 x 183cm
Borrowing equally from graffiti and traditional avant garde painting O.T.’s strange floating figures are reminiscent of surrealist artists such as Joan Miro, while its impoverished style and construction keeps in line with Martin Kippenberger’s populist values.

By piecing together 7 canvases, Martin Kippenberger creates the illusion of grandeur - an image too enormous to be contained in just one. Untitled trades in high-art esteem for a certain comic brutality; it’s beautiful and stupid at the same time, a re-invention of abstract painting for a sophisticated and grown-up Hanna-Barbara generation.

Martin Kippenberger's Biography

Born in 1953, Dortmund, Germany

Moved to Hamburg and lived in various communes

Hamburg College of Art, Fine Art, BA

Moved to Berlin. Became manager of the famous S.O. 36 hall venue.

Moved to Paris and worked on his first novel

Settled in Cologne, worked with Albert Oehlen

Died in Vienna


Martin Kippenberger – Thomas Ammann Fine Art AG, Zurich
Martin Kippenberger: The Problem Perspective - MoMA – Museum of Modern Art in New York City, NY

Martin Kippenberger: The Problem Perspective, MOCA, Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA
Martin Kippenberger: Livres et Ephemeras 1977-1997, Florence Loewy, Paris
Martin Kippenberger : Grässlin Art Space, St. Georgen

Martin Kippenberger- Galerie Bleich-Rossi, Vienna
Martin Kippenberger: Invitations and Posters 1977-1997, Dickinson Roundell Inc. New York City
Martin Kippenberger: Utopia for everyone, Kunsthaus Graz, Graz
Martin Kippenberger: Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne

Martin Kippenberger, MOCA Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA
Martin Kippenberger, Work is all cleared up, Pictures 1984/85, Stadel Museum, Frankfurt/ Main
Martin Kippenberger, Skarstedt Fine Art, New York City, NY
Martin Kippenberger, (1953-1997) K21 Art collection North Rhine, Westphalia, the Estate House, Dusseldorf
Martin Kippenberger, Tate Modern, London
Martin Kippenberger, Gallery Baerbel Grasslin, Frankfurt / Main

Martin Kippenberger, Editions, Grimm Gallery, Amsterdam
Martin Kippenberger, Dear Painter, paint for me, Gagosian Gallery, Madison Avenue, New York City
Martin Kippenberger, Self Portrait, Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York City, NY
Martin Kippenberger, Floor Collage, NRW Forum for Culture and Economy, Dusseldorf

Brasilien aktuell: The Magical Misery Tour
Gagosian Gallery, London

Das 2. Sein (The Second Being) Museum für
Neue Kunst/ZKM, Karlsruhe
Multiples Kunstverein, Braunschweig
Nach Kippenberger (After Kippenberger) Museum Moderner Kunst,
Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven

Dear Painter, paint me CentreGeorges Pompidou,

Documenta X Kassel, Germany
Der Eiermann und seine Ausleger (The Egg man and his Jib)
Städtisches Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach, Germany

The Happy End of Franz Kafka’s America
Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam

Kunstverein Kippenberger Fridericianum,
Kandidatur für eine Retrospektive Centre Georges Pompidou,
Paris Founds
MOMAS (Museum of Modern Art Syros), Greece Construction of
the first subway station, Syros

Put Your Eye In Your Mouth Museum of Modern
Art, San Francisco
Heavy Burschi Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne
Tiefes Kehlchen Installation, Vienna

Bei Nichtgefallen Gefühle zurück
Halle Sud, Geneva
Die Hamburger Hängung. Umzüge 1957-1988, Fallende Flüge
Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne

Laterne an Betrunkene and Hühnerdisco
Aperto at Venice Biennale

Broken Neon Forum Stadtpark Graz, Austria
Einfach geht der Applaus zu Grunde Galerie Grässlin-Erhardt,

Miete Strom Gas (Rent Electricity Gas)
Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt, Germany
Transformation of Hotel Chelsea in Cologne into an art hotel
Sand in der Vaseline CCD Galerie, Düsseldorf

Wahrheit ist Arbeit: Works
by Werner Büttner, Albert Oehlen, Martin Kippenberger Museum
Folkwang, Essen, Germany
Abschied vom Jugendbonus Galerie Thomas Borgmann, Cologne

Gibt’s mich wirklich? Galerie Max
Hetzler, Cologne

Orgonkiste bei Nacht, Fiffen, Faufen, Verfaufen
Studio F Ulm, Germany (Collaborative works with Albert Oehlen)

Ein Erfolgsgeheimnis des Herrn A. Onassis
Galerie Max Hetzler, Stuttgart

Galerie Petersen, Hamburg

Uno di voi, un Tedesco in Firenze series


James Ensor-Hareng Saur: Ensor et l'art contemporain - SMAK Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Arts, Ghent
Out Of the Office/ Ruhr 2010, Kunstmuseum Bochum, Germany
Compass in hand. Selección de la Colección de dibujo contemporáneo de la Fundación Judith RSe Não Neste Tempo – Pintura Alemã Contemporânea: 1989-2010 - Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand - MASP, São Pauloothschild - IVAM - Institut Valencià d'Art Modern, Valencia
Happy End - Kunsthalle Göppingen, Göppingen
Jeder Künstler ist ein Mensch - Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Baden-Baden
Taking Place - Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Amsterdam
Transzendenz Inc. - Autocenter, Berlin
Wahrheit ist Arbeit - Villa Schöningen, Potsdam
FischGrätenMelkStand - - Temporäre Kunsthalle Berlin, Berlin (closed, 2010)
Mike Kelley / Martin Kippenberger - Galería Juana de Aizpuru, Madrid
Pop Life: Art in a Material World - National Gallery of Canada - Musée des beaux-arts du Canada, Ottawa, ON
Modèles modèles 2 - Mamco - musée d´art moderne et contemporain, Geneva
TWENTY FIVE - Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York City, NY
The Fate of Irony - KAI 10 Raum für Kunst , Dusseldorf
So Be It: Interventions in Printed Matter - Andrew Roth Gallery, New York City, NY
Man Son 1969. Vom Schrecken der Situation - Villa Merkel & Bahnwärterhaus, Esslingen
Amor Parvi oder Die Liebe zum Kleinen - Kunstverein Langenhagen, Langenhagen
Pop Life - Warhol, Haring, Koons, Hirst, … - Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg

Just what is it... - ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe
CThe Irreverent Object - Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York City, NYarte Blanche IX: >Vor heimischer Kulisse< - Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst - GfZK, Leipzig