Martin Kippenberger

For the series Lieber Maler, male mir [Dear Painter, Paint for Me], Martin Kippenberger commissioned Werner, a professional film-poster painter, to realize a group of paintings based on photographs chosen by the artist. Presented in Berlin under the double header of Werner Kippenberger in 1981 (when the art world witnessed both the rise of postmodernism and the return to painting), this series questions notions of style, originality and authorship. Kippenberger is portrayed in two of these paintings. The one exhibited here portrays him from behind, thus becoming the non-identifiable subject of a painting he did not paint. To this doubly paradoxical “Self-portrait” corresponds a group of posters conceived by Kippenberger on different occasions – including some of his major exhibitions. The making of posters, to which the artist never ceased to give great consideration, belongs to a critical practice challenging the status of the work of art and its uniqueness. The posters gathered here are those where he portrays himself or invites other artists to portray him. There too, he is unrecognizable due to his changing age, physiognomy or dress code, whether he is alone or with friends, critics or other artists. Among these, the painter Albert Oehlen, wink to the current monographic exhibition at Palazzo Grassi.