Martin Kippenberger

Martin Kippenberger (Dortmund, Germany, 1953 - Vienna, 1997) was a German artist who made paintings, sculptures, installations, posters and books. Kippenberger’s anarchic approach followed the example of Marcel Duchamp and the Dadaists, and also recalled Joseph Beuys and his utopian self-mythology. Kippenberger’s short career was characterised by a desecrating and irreverent attitude, which was at the same time compliant towards the system and art market. One of the recurrent themes of his work is a sharp analysis of the role of the artist in cultural life: he described himself as a ‘salesman’, presenting a version of himself that was far from the romantic clichés: that is, as a person able to find his own space within the system and to establish profitable relationships. One of the characteristics of Kippenberger’s practice was the frequent collaboration with artists and art critics, who were indispensable in the conception of some of his works.