Martin Kippenberger

Martin Kippenberger

Kunsthaus Graz

September 12, 2007

Martin Kippenberger
Utopia for Everyone

September 15, 2007 – January 6, 2008

Curators: Daniel Baumann, Peter Pakesch

Opening: Friday, September 14, 2007, 7pm
Tue – Sun 10am-6pm

Kunsthaus Graz am
Landesmuseum Joanneum
Lendkai 1, A-8020 Graz
T +43-316/8017-9200, F -9212

Provoking and egotistical, German artist Martin Kippenberger (1997) is still widely remembered. But his work contains not only egocentric elements but also has humane things to say. The exhibition at the Kunsthaus Graz focuses on Kippenberger the idealist, revealing a forward-looking model of artistic and social commitment.
‘I’m me — and I’m lots of people.’
One of the most important artists of the 20th century, Martin Kippenberger fascinated and polarised in equal measure all his life. He was rebellious, ill-educated and, as he himself put it, ‘a child of nature’, addicted to people and alcohol, Mau-Mau and pasta bake, love and good art. The gifted self-promoter and provocateur talked non-stop, and was sharp-witted and very clear in his mostly devastating judgments.
‘I’m me — and I’m lots of people.’
But Kippenbergers work contains not only egocentric elements, it is also larded with human messages and moral appeals. He described himself as a ‘gardener of people’ and saw himself as a great enlightener, believing in the good side of people and improving the world. This is the starting point for the Model Martin Kippenberger. Utopia for Everyone exhibition. It sees the artist as a spender and pipe-dreamer, who always took active and creative part in shaping society. Perhaps more than any other artist of his generation, Kippenberger in his roles as producer, curator and intermediary set up a dense network of contacts to bring together people, stories and artistic work.
‘I’m me — and I’m lots of people.’
It is not easy to put Kippenberger in an art-historical pigeonhole. Along with paintings, sculpture, drawings and installations, he produced over a hundred art books, supported poetry, designed countless posters and invitation cards, issued singles, curated exhibitions, turned out graphic works, performed theatricals, lectured, danced and told stories. In so doing, he always accepted — without hesitation – the risk that something could go wrong: it would be understood — or maybe it wouldn’t.
‘I’m me — and I’m lots of people.’
Wherever Martin Kippenberger went — whether to Los Angeles, Berlin, New York, Cologne or Graz — he did everything to get himself accepted into the local set-up. Graz was certainly one of the important and fruitful platforms of his work because here he met people who recognised the value of what he was doing early on. Particularly the example of Graz also makes Kippenberger’s place-specific works easier to understand. With this in focus, the exhibition reveals not only a forward looking model of artistic and social commitment but also makes a piece of Graz’s history accessible.

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Kunsthaus Graz
September 12, 2007

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