Martin Kippenberger: Bitteschön. Dankeschön – A Retrospective
Susanne Kleine, Jakob Schillinger
Bundeskunsthalle & Snoeck, 2019
It appears to always be the task of the subsequent generations to examine the relevance of an artist’s work according to art historical criteria. But what if the artist has negotiated precisely this question in his work from the very beginning? Martin Kippenberger (1953–1997) is one of the most complex and most important German artists of the last two decades of the 20th century, both in terms of media and style. Together with his friends and companions, he decisively shaped the image of art in the postmodern era and, in a rather anarchic way, helped many ideas gain ground. His wit, his unrestrained creative urge and the resulting work assured him a prominent position within the contemporary art scene already during his lifetime, even though not always generally recognized or accepted. Today, however, this assessment is universally shared across the globe, and his work occupies an important place in art historical consideration. In his oeuvre, a profound knowledge of art history merges directly with an almost inexhaustible trove of stories of art and anecdotes on art, a sharp observational talent, honed in daily life, and with the direct connection of artistic expression to his own live; Martin Kippenberger’s attitude and understanding of his role as an artist has become a model for future generations. Drawings, posters, collages, multiples, artist’s books, photographs, music, paintings, sculptures and expansive installations – Kippenberger’s work not only encompasses all media of 20th century art, but also pursues them to the most complex dimensions of their possibilities. Or should the slogan »I love No waiting«, which he presented to Günther Förg’s camera, have already revealed everything to us about the artist, the era some 30 years ago, and our own former youth? And did he already let us know then that we should eventually be yearning for the zeitgeist embodied so uniquely by his art?