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

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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist.

  • Exhibited

    Graz, Galerie Bleich-Rossi, Die Reise nach Jerusalem, 19 November - 20 December, 1987; Vienna, Galerie Bleich-Rossi, Martin Kippenberger- 25 Years, 1 December, 2007-10 January, 2008

  • Literature

    Exhibition catalogue, Galerie Bleich Rossi, Die Reise nach Jerusalem, Graz ,1987 (illustrated); Exhibition catalogue, Galerie Bleich Rossi, Martin Kippenberger, Vienna, 2007, pp. 49-50 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Minimullcontainer was one of the centerpieces in Martin Kippenberger’s 1987 exhibition at Galerie Bleich-Rossi titled Die Reise nach Jerusalem, literally translating as The Journey to Jerusalem, the German naming of the very popular children’s post war pastime, the game of musical chairs. An engaging, participative art work, in the present lot comprised of, as its tile suggests, a inflatable garbagebag and an air pump, the viewer is invited to ‘play’ with the bag, inflating it and deflating it with the fascination and insouciance of a young child. Humorously yet poignantly capturing the essence of Kippenburger’s oeuvre, the fact that anything can be art, literally trash in this case, Minimullcontainer is a mature work from an artist at the height of his powers.
    ‘An exhibition of Martin Kippenberger’s sculptures, resembles, upon first encounter, an overcrowded fire sale. The exhibition has an air of disarming nonchalance and irrationality. This accounts for its strength - a careening, chaotic energy - and also for its frequent descents into self-indulgent silliness. Anything goes with Mr. Kippenberger, and nothing is sacred. He means to question many of the basic assumptions about sculpture: the importance of craft, of beautiful or costly materials, of visual logic itself. His objects often seem incompetently built, capriciously structured and arbitrarily titled. Their modest materials and occasional found objects are devoid of esthetic value; their crowded installation defies vision, challenging the viewer to see any one of them as sculpture per se.  
    In ways that are both surprisingly formal and surprisingly tender, Mr. Kippenberger's work comments on the surfeit of things in the world -things unloved, overlooked and discarded - and on their fluctuating proximity to art and sculpture. The strategies in use here have their roots in Process Art and its European counterpart, Arte Povera. But mainly, Mr. Kippenberger seems to offer a three-dimensional equivalent of the improvisational appropriation practiced by a somewhat older West German painter, Sigmar Polke.’ (R. Smith, Art: Martin Kippenberger Sculptures, The New York Times, 20 November, 1987)



Rubber and pump.
90 x 50 x 70 cm. (35 1/2 x 19 3/4 x 27 1/2 in).

£80,000 - 120,000 

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

17 Oct 2009