Martin Kippenberger - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Friday, October 16, 2009 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist

  • Exhibited

    New York, David Nolan Gallery, Kippenblinkys, 1991 (another example exhibited); Vienna, Tiefes Kehlchen (Deep Throat), 1991 (another example exhibited); San Francisco, Museum of Modern Art, Put Your Eye in Your Mouth, 1991 (another example exhibited); Graz, Galerie Bleich-Rossi, Martin Kippenberger, 26 November, 1992-2 January, 1993; Hamburg, ‘The Happy End of Franz Kafka’s ‘America,’ 1999; Kunstverein Braunschweig, Martin Kippenberger, Multiples, 28 February -4 May, (another example exhibited); Vienna, Galerie Bleich-Rossi, Martin Kippenberger-25 Years, 1 December, 2007-10 January, 2008

  • Literature

    Exhibition Catalogue, Hamburg, Martin Kippenberger, The Happy End of Franz Kafka's "Amerika", Hamburg, 1999, p. 64 (another example illustrated); Exhibition catalogue, Kunstverein Braunschweig, Martin Kippenberger, Multiples, Cologne, 2003, p.108 (illustrated); Exhibition catalogue, Galerie Bleich-Rossi, Martin Kippenberger, Vienna, 2007, p.119 (illustrated); Exhibition catalogue, The Museum of Contemporary Art, The Problem Perspective, Cambridge, 2008, p.177 (another example illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Kippenblinky, a beautifully crafted sculpture comprised of smoking pipes imbedded in cast resin, is a prime example of an important motif in Martin Kippenberger’s oeuvre, the lamp. Revisiting and developing a theme which had a strong autobiographical resonance, alcohol and smoking, Kippenberger created his first ‘drunken street lamp’ in 1987, with his most famous lamp coming in 1992 for DocumentaIX. Clearly influenced in this body of work by Marcel Duchamp, Kippenberger is engaging in the long art historical debate of the ready made, the dichotomy between high art and low art, between art and craft.
    Life sized, Kippenberger has created an elegant and sophisticated work of art out of a banal object, a lamp which would not look out of place in the interior of an opulent Venetian palace. In fact, Italy was one of Kippenberger’s favorite holiday destinations as much for its opulence as its food. Kippenberger who, ever the collector, always brought back kitsch souvenirs from his travels, was fascinated when in Venice by the ornate, baroque inspired furnishings and decorative objects that filled to the brim the Venetian homes of the local bourgeoise. In a comic, absurd twist however, Kippenberger decided to create a series of nine Kippenblinkies made of resin and smoking paraphernalia, not exactly materials one would normally associate with a lamp. The title would appear to make reference to its use, “blinky” possibly referring to its function of being turned on or turned off. Apparently useful, yet utterly trivial, Kippenblinky, is simultaneously intriguing, yet absurd, functional yet highly kitsch. In using a word and presenting an object that sounds very much like his own surname, Kippenblinky represents the ultimate personification of the artists and his message.
    “I am not a ‘real’ painter, nor a ‘real’ sculptor, I only look at all that from the outside and sometimes try my hand at it, trying to add my own particular spice. I’m not interested in provoking people, but only in trying to be consoling. I always think of the things I do, quite unambiguously, as truly living vehicles. Assuming roles is something that simply won’t work for me, since I don’t have a style. None at all. My style is where you the individual and where a personality is communicated through actions, decisions, single objects and facts, where the whole draws together to form a history.” (M. Kippenberger interviewed by Jutta Koehler, Flash Art, 1990)



Resin, smoking pipes, wood, metal and glass.
176 x 40.5 x 40.5 cm. (69 1/4 x 16 x 16 in).
This work is unique from a series of nine.

£80,000 - 120,000 

Sold for £103,250

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

17 Oct 2009