“Everything in moderation,” counseled Aristotle. Martin Kippenberger never got this message, as a good friend pointed out after the artist’s death at age forty-four in 1997. Kippenberger’s artistic career—based in his native Germany but encompassing such far-flung locations as Florence, Madrid, Vienna, New York, Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, Syros, and the Yukon—was a twenty-year commitment to unrestrained excess. It began in the late 1970s, at a moment when the greatness of modern art seemed suddenly distant—a century-long celebration whose door was now closed to newcomers. Kippenberger’s response was to create his own party and cast himself as an artist-jester whose antics both disguised and permitted a piercing analysis of contemporary art and society. The scores of posters he designed for his exhibitions begin to suggest the creative energy channeled into his thousands of works, including paintings, sculptures, installations, drawings, prints, multiples, books, and recordings. Embracing the full range of his output and yet by no means comprehensive, this exhibition contributes to the ongoing process of absorbing one of the most inventive and influential bodies of artwork of the late twentieth century.
Martin Kippenberger: The Problem Perspective is organized by The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA). The exhibition is curated by Ann Goldstein, MOCA Senior Curator, and organized at MoMA by Ann Temkin, The Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture.