Martin Kippenberger
The Alma Band Live in Rio 1985

Artwork details

Artist
Martin Kippenberger 1953–1997
Title
The Alma Band Live in Rio
Date 1985
Medium Screenprint on paper
Dimensions Image: 840 x 598 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Purchased 2005
Reference
P79095
Not on display

Summary

This poster was produced by German artist Martin Kippenberger to publicise a performance of The Alma Band – a musical duo comprising Kippenberger and fellow artist Albert Oehlen (born 1954) – that took place in Rio de Janeiro on 23 December 1985. Kippenberger and Oehlen spent the period from December 1985 to March 1986 in Brazil, where they generated vast quantities of writing and music as well as ideas for future projects that would sustain Kippenberger’s artistic work for the following year. This poster overlays text with a collage of colonial-era Brazilian maps, together with Kippenberger’s own stylised sketch of Rio’s Christ the Redeemer 1922–31.

Though prolific as a painter, sculptor, musician and writer, the 178 posters created by Kippenberger throughout his career form a significant body of work. Normally created as screen prints or lithographs in standard advertisement sizes, they were used to promote a wide variety of events from art exhibitions to upcoming parties. From 1986 Kippenberger began to group his posters into folios, though these were united more by date than by similarity of style or function. This work forms part of the second folio, Untitled Maniac. Published in 1987 in an edition of twenty-five, each folio contained twenty-one posters made between 1986 and 1987.

Kippenberger’s posters belong to the mass of apparently supplementary material produced by the artist throughout his career that parallels his work in painting, sculpture, installation and performance. However, like his books, pamphlets and literary and musical projects, the posters share with his more conventional artworks the desire to undermine the accepted structures of the art world by defying attempts to understand his artistic output as a whole, by blatantly embracing collaboration, and by actively involving himself in the promotion and reception of his work. As the artist Jutta Koether wrote on the occasion of the 2006 Kippenberger exhibition at Tate Modern:

Martin’s posters best represent him and sum up the range of his ability: the humour, the social critique, the clever combination of provocative images and allusions. They were critical and politicised, perfectly expressing his ideas and his personality.
(Jutta Koether in Tate Etc., no.6, Spring 2006, p.36.)

Further reading
Bice Curiger and Guido Magnaguagno, Martin Kippenberger: Die Gesamten Plakate 1977–1997, Cologne 1998, p.61.
Doris Krystof and Jessica Morgan (eds.), Martin Kippenberger, exhibition catalogue, Tate Modern, London 2006.
Ann Goldstein (ed.), Martin Kippenberger: The Problem Perspective, exhibition catalogue, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles 2008.

Lucy Watling
March 2012

About this artwork