A good artist has less time than ideas.

Martin Kippenberger


Fred the Frog Rings the Bell 1990

Martin Kippenberger (25 February 1953 in Dortmund – 7 March 1997 in Vienna) was a German artist known for his extremely prolific output in a dizzying range of styles and media as well as his provocative, jocular and hard-drinking public persona. He died at age 44 from liver cancer.

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, Werner Büttner, Georg Herold, Dieter Göls, and Günther Förg. He collected and commissioned work by many of his peers: some of his exhibition posters were designed by such prominent artists as Jeff Koons, Christopher Wool, Rosemarie Trockel and Mike Kelley.

Kippenberger’s artistic reputation and influence has grown since his death. He has been the subject of a several large retrospective exhibitions, including at the Tate Modern in 2006 and “the Problem Perspective” at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, in 2008; the exhibition traveled to the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 2009.

In 2008 his sculpture of a toad being crucified called Zuerst die Füsse (“First the Feet”) was allegedly condemned by Pope Benedict as blasphemous.

He was a member of the Lord Jim Lodge.




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