Martin Kippenberger: Room guide, room 2

Martin Kippenberger Sympathische Kommunistin / Likable Communist Woman 1983

Martin KippenbergerSympathische Kommunistin / Likable Communist Woman 1983

Private collection

Martin Kippenberger Untitled 1982

Martin Kippenberger
Untitled 1982

Private collection

Martin Kippenberger Kluturbäuerin bei der Raparatur ihres Traktors/Cultural Revolutionary Peast Woman Repairing her Tractor 1985

Martin KippenbergerKluturbäuerin bei der Raparatur ihres Traktors / Cultural Revolutionary Peasant Woman Repairing her Tractor 1985

Speckl Collection, Cologne

Martin Kippenberger 2. Preis / 2nd Prize 1987

Martin Kippenberger2. Preis / 2nd Prize 1987

 Estate Martin Kippenberger

I’m in favour of good-mood worlds. Because I’m on the good-mood side, although that’s not to say that tragic things aren’t constantly happening to me.
Martin Kippenberger (1953–1997)

This room brings together paintings from the early 1980s to the mid-1990s that all share the same dimensions (180 x 150 cm), a presentation that echoes Kippenberger’s own installation of his last exhibition before his death, which opened in Geneva in 1997. Kippenberger’s deliberately provocative interest in socialist art is evident in Sympathische Kommunistin (Likeable Communist Woman) 1983 a painting that seems designed to infuriate petit-bourgeois and leftist sympathisers alike, while humorous one-liners such as For a Life without a Dentist 1984 reveal Kippenberger’s fondness for combining unrelated image and text. Also included are works such as Kostengebirge (Saure Gurken Zeit) (Cost Peaks (The Silly Season)) 1985, one of Kippenberger’s paintings that uses an economic graph as a model. Later paintings include Untitled 1996, one of the self-portraits in which Kippenberger’s pose is based on the figures in Théodore Géricault’s Raft of the Medusa 1819, and Untitled (from the series Jacqueline: the paintings Pablo couldn’t paint anymore) 1996, a portrait of Pablo Picasso’s final muse Jacqueline, based on photographs of her that were taken in Picasso’s studio after the artist’s death.

In the centre of the room is a large vitrine, similar to one used by Kippenberger for his 1993 exhibition at the Centre Pompidou, Paris which contains many of his invitation cards, photographs, ephemera, and, most importantly, books. Kippenberger considered the exhibition catalogue or book an independent work, believing that artists should take control of all aspects of their careers. In keeping with this belief, he always involved himself in the design of exhibition announcements and catalogues, and it has even been suggested that the exhibition itself was an excuse to produce all this supplementary material.