About the artist

    1953: Was born in Dortmund, Germany
    1997: Died in Vienna

    Martin Kippenberger was a German artist known for his extremely prolific output in a wide range of styles and media as well as his provocative, jocular and hard-drinking public persona.


    Kippenberger was "widely regarded as one of the most talented German artists of his generation," according to Roberta Smith of the New York Times. He was at the center of a generation of German enfants terribles including Albert Oehlen, Markus Oehlen, Werner Büttner, Georg Herold, Dieter Göls, and Günther Förg.


    Kippenberger was born in Dortmund in 1953, the only boy in a family of five, with two elder and two younger sisters. His father was director of the Katharina-Elisabeth colliery, his mother a dermatologist. When Kippenberger's mother was killed by a pallet falling off a truck, he inherited enough money to live on.

    He studied at the Hochschule für Bildende Kunst in Hamburg, where Sigmar Polke, despite not teaching him directly, influenced him. After a sojourn in Florence, where he had his first solo show in 1977, he settled in Berlin in 1978. In that year he founded Kippenberger's Office with Gisela Capitain, mounting exhibitions of his own art and that of his friends; became business director of SO36, a performance, film and music space; started a punk band called the Grugas and made his first recording, a single called Luxus, with Christine Hahn and Eric Mitchell. Leaving Berlin, originally for a long visit to Paris, Kippenberger spent the early 1980s as an active member of the Cologne art scene.

    In Cologne, as elsewhere, Martin did not limit himself to producing works of art; he worked on how the art was presented, the framework and the sideshows. "Martin was tremendously committed to the gallery's artists," Max Hetzler said. The Vienna gallerist Peter Pakesch thinks Martin did an enormous amount for the Hetzler Gallery's success in his double role "as clown and strategist...Max without Martin's strategy would have been unimaginable in the early years." In Hutta Koether's view, Martin "was the one who brought movement to life so that it became known outside Cologne."

    Kippenberger died at age 44 from liver cancer at the Vienna General Hospital.

    Source: Martin Kippenberger Wikipedia