Martin Kippenberger - Contemporary Art & Design Evening Sale New York Thursday, March 6, 2014 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Gift of the artist
    Collection of Mr. & Mrs. Pilz, Austria
    Private Collection, Germany

  • Catalogue Essay

    “What I’m working on is for people to be able to say that Kippenberger had this really good mood.” - Martin Kippenberger

    A 1980s art world bad boy, Martin Kippenberger refused to confine himself to a preferred medium, theme or style. Instead, he continually redefined himself and his practice, pushing to the edges to find new, uncharted territory. Kippenberger explained in terms of his painterly process, “In painting you have to be on the lookout: what windfall is still left for you to paint” (The artist in interview with Daniel Baumann, Martin Kippenberger, D. Kristoff and J. Morgan, Eds., Tate Publishing: London, 2006, p. 63).

    The present lot demonstrates both Kippenberger’s stylistically nomadic practice and his quest for “windfall” material. Occupying a striking orange ground, the image is composed of three contrasting elements. Gestural scratches of grey, charcoal and white work in concert with blocked sweeps of color. Crisp white rectangles define then recede from the mid-ground to the back of the painting, lending a sense of dimensionality. Atop of all are two graphic mushrooms, created in an outline of blue, the smaller of which is bedecked with a small filled-in heart. Untitled (Mushrooms) references from modernism to Pop, but the clearest referent are the mushrooms themselves. Though he develops the dimensionality of the field, the mushrooms remain two-dimensional, spackled outlines that represent the mushroom in the same way the shape with a pointed bottom and double scalloped top has come to represent the heart. Playing with representation through a cognizant blending of styles, Kippenberger creates tension that most certainly results in what he would consider an “interesting picture.”


Untitled (Mushrooms)

oil on canvas
29 1/8 x 35 3/8 in. (74 x 90 cm.)
Initialed and dated "MK 96" lower right.

$200,000 - 300,000 

Sold for $185,000

Contact Specialist
Zach Miner, Contemporary
Head of Sale
+1 212 940 1256

Alex Heminway, Design
+ 1 212 940 1268

Contemporary Art & Design Evening Sale

New York Evening Sale 6 March 2014 7pm