Martin Kippenberger (Dortmund, Germany 1953 - Vienna, 1997) is one of the most unruly and significant German artists. He made a mark in the Eighties by challenging the most serious artistic conventions by using his devastating irony. The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía presents hundreds of his works at the first solo exhibition of this artist in a Spanish museum.
Kippenberger does not restrict his work to the use of a single medium. Painting, sculpture, photography, drawings, installations, catalogues, posters and invitations to exhibitions, were for him means capable of being used with the same expressive power. Present in the most important artistic events of recent decades, Kippenberger's work was posthumously displayed at Documenta X in Kassel, at the Skulptur in Münster, the Kunsthalle in Bassel and recently in a touring exhibition in Karlsruhe and London. Kippenberger's work reconstructs a disconcerting logic, by playing with inappropriate references, he mixes irreconcilable symbols and inappropriate and shocking titles in order to draw attention and parody the great discourses of art, while bitterly but playfully criticising daily life. The artist takes at face value political clichés and advertising images and uses them to question both social and cultural history.
The exhibition coincides with the exhibition at the Museum dedicated to the Colección Taschen. One of the biggest collectors of Kippenberger is Benedikt Taschen, who has collected more than a hundred works by the artist and from whom many of the pieces on display in this exhibition come from. Taschen and Kippenberger often worked together on books and other projects, and came to build a strong relationship that is reflected in the quality of the collection. Taschen has been reluctant until now to show his collection to museums and institutions, which gives the exhibition an exceptional feel. It is therefore a great opportunity for the Museum to be able to organise this exhibition which provides a new approach to the work of the German artist which, because of his early and unexpected demise, is as yet undiscovered. The exhibition is rounded off with works by the artist from Allbert Oehlen’s collection, who exchanged works with Kippenberger and also received some as gifts, which adds a more personal and original touch to the exhibition.