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MARTIN KIPPENBERGER (1953-1997)
MARTIN KIPPENBERGER (1953-1997)
MARTIN KIPPENBERGER (1953-1997)
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MARTIN KIPPENBERGER (1953-1997)
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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE SWISS COLLECTION
MARTIN KIPPENBERGER (1953-1997)

Psychobuildings

Details
MARTIN KIPPENBERGER (1953-1997)
Psychobuildings
black-and-white and colour photographic prints, in eighty-five parts
smallest: 5 3/8 x 3¾in. (13.5 x 9.5cm.)
largest: 6 1/8 x 4¼in. (15.5 x 10.7cm.)
Executed in 1988, this work is unique
Provenance
Anton Kern Gallery, New York.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1999.
Literature
M. Kippenberger, Psychobuildings, Cologne 1988 (illustrated).
A. Muthesius, Martin Kippenberger: Ten Years After, Cologne 1991 (detail illustrated in colour, pp. 94 and 126).
A. Taschen and B. Riemschneider (eds.), Kippenberger, Cologne 1997 (detail illustrated in colour, pp. 114 and 146).
R. Melcher and A. Schalhorn (eds.), Martin Kippenberger: Das 2. Sein, exh. cat., Karlsruhe, Museum für Neue Kunst, ZKM Karlsruhe, 2003, pp. 67-70, nos. 6 and 7 (detail illustrated in colour, pp. 69 and 70).
P. Pakesch (ed.), Model, Martin Kippenberger: Utopia for Everyone, exh. cat., Graz, Kunstmuseum Graz, Landesmuseum Joanneum, 2007-2008, p. 44.
E. Meyer-Hermann, Kippenberger Meets Picasso, exh. cat., Malaga, Museo Picasso Mlaga, 2011 (detail illustrated, pp. 50-53 and 55).
Exhibited
Dusseldorf, Kunstverein Düsseldorf, Zero Gravity, 2001.
Zurich, Kunsthaus Zürich, Public Affairs. Von Beuys bis Zittel: Das Öffentliche in der Kunst, 2001-2002.
Vienna, Museum Moderner Kunst, Stiftung Wien, Nach Kippenberger, 2003-2004, pp. 122-123. This exhibition later travelled to Eindhoven, Van Abbemuseum.
Toulouse, Le Printemps de Septembre à Toulouse. Contemporary Art Festival, 2004.
Los Angeles, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Martin Kippenberger: The Problem Perspective, 2008-2009, pp. 136, 137 and 344. This exhibition later travelled to New York, Museum of Modern Art.
Bonn, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Through the Looking Brain: A Swiss Collection of Conceptual Photography, 2011-2012 (illustrated in colour, p. 216 and detail illustrated in colour, pp. 108-111). This exhibition later travelled to St. Gallen, Kunstmuseum St. Gallen.
Special Notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 20% on the buyer's premium.

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Alexandra Werner
Alexandra Werner

Lot Essay

'The photographs are presented devoid of comment, and at first sight it seems as if they record only observations in urban space, architectural situations, which stand out, because, from some aspect of their design, they are burdened with too much striving for form and have become unbalanced. Then there are the beautiful corrections, the unintentional encounters, and the many small comedies-of-sculpture in public space, everything that in the real presents itself with such remarkable naturalness. Many a 'Peter' has been discovered during such observations, and, indeed, in the book one finds sculptures again, discreetly placed here and there in the panorama of the photographic documentation, returned to the continuous form from which they sprang'
(R. Ohrt, Kippenberger, Cologne 1997, p. 23).



In 1988, Martin Kippenberger produced eighty-five black and white and colour photographs, largely taken in Spain and Brazil, capturing front yards, interiors, facades, masonry, sculptures, lamp posts, balconies, staircases, doorways, street curbs, and the artist's own work. He titled this selection of photographs Psychobuildings, a term he had coined to qualify the objects he had encountered, which caught his attention for their form's refusal to coincide with their functions. Psychobuildings was exhibited at Martin Kippenberger: The Problem Perspective held in 2008 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Kippenberger published a book of these photographs using the same title in the same year. Looking from one to the next, a thread begins to emerge: the uncanny, the coincidental, the humorous and the magical found in the everyday appears before our very eyes. The images blend the Surrealist penchant for documenting 'found objects' through photography with Kippenberger's own sculptural practice which had already reached maturity with his Peter: Die russische Stellung (Peter. The Russian Position) exhibition at Max Hetzler Gallery, Cologne the year before. Psychobuildings was developed the same year as the artist's celebrated self-portrait series painted in Spain inspired by the image of the aged Picasso in his underwear.

Kippenberger conceived Psychobuildings at a time when the Contemporary art world was dominated by the medium of the Düsseldorf school, celebrated for their re-examination of the documentary nature of photography. The ever irreverent Kippenberger in no way engaged with this tradition in his work. Instead the artist sought out lesser-known tourist sites, seeking out architectural oddities, street furniture and un-functional, botched or strangely isolated objects. He gave the objects of his attention - the curious, humorous, outmoded, obsolete- the name 'Peter', a term coined in Kippenberger's own idiosyncratic vernacular to describe inanimate and process-orientated things or 'thingamajigs'. The photographs revel in the multiple readings offered by these 'found objects' and, through the process of offering them up for our contemplation, lends expression to them. It is at this juncture that the 'psycho' dimension comes into play.

Psychobuildings can be considered an extension of and is critical to the development of Kippenberger's sculptural practice, through its investigation into what the artist dubbed 'Peters', objects whose defining characteristic were their 'thingliness'. People could also be 'Peters' and there are instances littered throughout Psychobuildings aside from his own visage that are metonymns for the artist himself including a sculpture cropped at the neck and lampposts. The original motif of the lamp sculptures derived in part from these photographs and Kippenberger made the first of his Laterne (Lamp) sculptures in 1988, including his Laterne an Betrunkene ('Street Lamp for Drunks') now iconic through its exhibition at the 1988 Venice Biennale. Indeed many 'Peters' can be traced to the imagery captured in Psychobuildings and in many ways the works act as a sort of index to Kippenberger's overall sculptural practice, which remained integral to his practice for the rest of his life. Of the works Roberto Ohrt has pointed out, 'the photographs are presented devoid of comment, and at first sight it seems as if they record only observations in urban space, architectural situations, which stand out, because, from some aspect of their design, they are burdened with too much striving for form and have become unbalanced. Then there are the beautiful corrections, the unintentional encounters, and the many small comedies-of-sculpture in public space, everything that in the real presents itself with such remarkable naturalness. Many a 'Peter' has been discovered during such observations, and, indeed, in the book one finds sculptures again, discreetly placed here and there in the panorama of the photographic documentation, returned to the continuous form from which they sprang' (R. Ohrt, Kippenberger, Cologne 1997, p. 23).

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