Martin Kippenberger - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Tuesday, October 9, 2012 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Thomas Ammann Fine Art, Zurich
    Zwirner & Wirth, New York
    Art & Public, Geneva
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    New York, Zwirner & Wirth, Martin Kippenberger: Selected Works, 19 February–27 April 2002

  • Catalogue Essay

    “I am the ultimate embodiment of the art of the 1980s.” MARTIN KIPPENBERGER
    “Every artist is a human being.” MARTIN KIPPENBERGER

    The painting S.Q.36 / I.B.B.D (Ich bin besonders Doof) by the iconoclastic German painter Martin Kippenberger marks the crucial first years in which he had decided to become an artist. The title of the work stems from the club S.O.36, which takes its name from the abbreviation of Kreuzberg district’s postal code in Berlin. Kippenberger had arrived in West Berlin in 1978 and, with the gallerist Gisela Capitain, founded the collaborative space Kippenberger’s Büro. At the same time, he became manager of S.O.36, where he showed performances, films and live music.

    Kippenberger was prolific in every sense. In addition to painting and sculpture, he produced posters, catalogues, artist books, multiples, happenings, the mock worldwide metro system METRO-Net as well as his own Museum of Modern Art Syros in Greece. Fuelled by his loudly performative self, at the very heart of the enfant terrible’s practice was a self-contained act of decadence, which formed an integral part of the myth “Kippenberger”. Always ready to confront the limits of taste and behaviour, Kippenberger’s work appropriated graffiti techniques that belonged to the underground aesthetic of West Germany in the 80s. Drawing on punk, New Wave, and Abstract Expressionism, Kippenberger was a master of historically and ideologically subverting traditions by means of cynical appropriation.

    In the present painting we can see Martin Kippenberger dancing in the lower left corner with all kinds of different creatures of the night. The abbreviation I.B.B.D. (I am especially stupid) heralds the back of Kippenberger’s jacket just like the emblem of a motorcycle gang. Sharp-witted self-irony was a large part of Kippenberger’s artistic strategy and this painting in particular conveys the artist’s experimental and extreme lifestyle that would become emblematic of his oeuvre and that would lead to an early death in 1997.


S.Q.36/I.B.B.D. (Ich bin Besonders Doof)

oil and spray paint on burlap
120 x 100.5 cm (47 1/4 x 39 5/8 in)
Monogrammed lower right.

£150,000 - 250,000 

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

10 October 2012