Artist Martin Kippenberger, Enjoying One Last Laugh

Germany’s jocular anti-traditionalist genius returns to Vienna posthumously.


Widely regarded as one of the most talented German artists of the late 20th-century, Martin Kippenberger is best known for his larger-than-life personality and his prolific and controversial fecundity. Inspired by Dadaism and Fluxus, he deconstructed traditional art with ingenuity, teetering between self-deprecation and glorification, freely moving between illustration, painting, installations, performance and other media. After previous exhibitions at the London Tate and the MoMa, this show will focus on Kippenberger’s particular talent for language, frequently using caustic wordplay in titles and scrawling messages on his work. Dismissed by critics as a confrontational art-world clown during his all-too-short lifetime famously unrestrained, he passed away at 44 from liver cancer in Vienna, his unconventional installations now fetch over 20 million dollars at auctions. It’s easy to see who had the last laugh.

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Das Ende des Alphabets, 1989 // © Foto: A. Burger, Zürich ©Estate of Martin Kippenberger, Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne

Martin Kippenberger

Through Nov 27
Bank Austria Kunstforum
Daily 10:00-19:00, Fridays to 21:00
1., Freyung 8
(01) 537 33 26

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Genevieve Doyle
Genevieve Doyle is writing for METROPOLE on her summer off from reading English Literature at The University of Cambridge. When she isn’t attending fairs to buy and source beautiful antiques and textiles, she likes painting murals and walking her very large Irish deerhound.

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