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Bodycheck – Martin Kippenberger – Maria Lassnig
Bodycheck – Martin Kippenberger – Maria Lassnig

Bodycheck – Martin Kippenberger – Maria Lassnig

Kat. Museion Bozen / Lenbachhaus München

By Martin Kippenberger, By Maria Lassnig, Edited by Veith Loers, Text by Bell, Text by Anna Fricke, Text by Peter Pakesch


176 Pages, 8.66 x 11.02

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $49.95 (US $49.95) (CA $67.95)

Publication Date: May 2018

ISBN 9783864422348

Rights: US & CA

Snoeck Publishing Company (May 2018)

Price: $49.95


The I, the own bodyBODY CHECK presents two illustrious artists of the late 20th century who, in an era dominated by abstract painting and nascent political correctness, ventured to spotlight in their artistic work the human body, primarily their own. In their depictions, they stage both the female and male body in a grotesque manner, theatrically dramatizing the torso as well as the limbs, head, eyes, hands, and feet. Maria Lassnig (1919–2014) articulated this humorous grotesque discourse across the decades as an artistic means of expression fraught with self-irony and also as a feminist weapon. The self is presented as torso, as animal, with prostheses, or in a permanent state of organic metamorphosis. Martin Kippenberger's (1953–1997) paintings, sculptures, and drawings are pervaded by an enigmatic spirit of the grotesque, in which comical touches and dark humor evoke the painful, even tragic experience of a world where no one is prepared to help anyone else. The self, one's own body, is allegorically caught up in, or fragmented by, artifacts and linguistic constructs. Salvation is a utopia. Lassnig and Kippenberger never met, even though Kippenberger, a native of the Rhineland, made his home in his latter years in the southern part of the Austrian province of Burgenland, not far from Lassnig's home in the province of Carinthia. The kinship between the two artists' choice of motifs is thus all the more striking. Kippenberger most probably saw exhibitions of Lassnig's work (Kunstmuseum Düsseldorf, 1985), and vice versa, after his early death and the growing awareness of his oeuvre, his Austrian colleague evidently studied it closely. In BODY CHECK, body images by the two exceptional artists spanning two decades are now brought together. The exhibition, which will be on view only in Bolzano, and the book shed new light on the work of both artists while also revealing the entrenched gender-specific roles in international art at the end of the twentieth century.Exhibitions: Museion Bolzano, 3/2–6/5/2018 Lenbachhaus Munich, 21/5–15/9/2019

Author Biography

Martin Kippenberger (1953–1997) was a German artist and sculptor known for his fruitful output in a wide range of medias. New York Times' Roberta Smith wrote about him: He is widely regarded as one of the most talented German artists of his generation. In 2014 the auction business called for his masterpieces prices of nearly or more than $20 million. 2008 Pope Benedict condemned his work First the Feet depicting a toad being crucified, which was shown during an exhibtion at the Musein in Bolzano. Now the book BODY CHECK is again published in the occasion of a double-exhibition 2018 together with the work of Maria Lassnig at the Museion in Bolzano; the show is running from 21st March until 15th September 2019. During his life-time Martin Kippenberger had a vast number of exhbitions in galleries, but not so at governmental institutions; the exceptions had been:Hessisches Landesmuseum 1984 and 1986, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Rotterdam 1994. After his death there had been a lot of exhibitions, amongst others: 2003 ZKM Karlsruhe, 2006 Tate Modern London, 2009 MoMA New York, 2010 Kunsthalle Hamburg, 2011 Museo Picasso Málaga, 2013 Hamburger Bahnhof Berlin, 2015 Haus der Kunst Munich.Maria Lassnig (1919–2014) was an Austria painter and Media artist. She grew up in Carynthia and studied from 1940 until 1945 at the art academy in Vienna. With a scholarship she moved 1951 to Paris and finished with a degree in 1954 under Albert Paris Gütersloh. With fellow students she was in circle of Otto Mauer, the founder of the Galerie nächst St Stephan. She had contact to the Wiener Gruppe of poets and together with Arnulf Rainer she is regarded as a founder of Informel painting in Austria. From 1961 to 1968 she lived in Paris and refreshed her contacts to the Surrealists she met in the decade before. 1968 she moved again, now to the East village in New York, where she lived with intermissions until 1980. For a professorship she left the USA and get back to Vienna in 1980. In the meantime her stylistic approach had changed from the early Informel to a body oriented painting for which her position was long time standing alone in the European art world, but which was nevertheless treated as a typical concession to Austrian art. Nowadays, a generation of female, theory-inspired art historians see more clearly not only a feminist attitude but more her modern standpoint to the human. Her work is more than ever to see in the last years: 2009 Museum Ludwig Cologne, 2009 MUMOK Vienna, 2010 Lenbauchhaus Munich, 2012 Neue Galerie Graz, 2013 Deichtorhallen Hamburg, 2014 MoMA PS1 New York, 2017 Museum Folkwang Essen, and 2018 Kunstmuseum Basel.