CRF Blog

Kippenberger: The Artist

by Bill Hayes

Susanne Kippenberger tells the story of her brother, the German artist Martin Kippenberger in Kippenberger: The Artist and His Families.

From the New York Times Book Review:

The comet that was the German artist Martin Kippenberger streaked across the firmament for about two decades, excessively gifted, and also just plain excessive. By 1997, the restless, charismatic exhibitionist, multi-tasker and motor-mouth — a man with “no off switch,” as this book puts it — was dead, burned out at the age of 44 from a toxic combination of hard work and hard partying, both sustained by astounding quantities of alcohol.

To an extent that has few equals in late-20th-century art, Kippenberger drew equally and effortlessly from traditions of the skilled painter-draftsman, à la Picasso and Matisse, and the cool-handed manipulator of found objects and -images, à la Duchamp. The harsh, irreverent body of work he left behind was enough for a career three times as long. [more]