An exhibition of sculpture by Martin Kippenberger opens at Metro Pictures on October 31 (through November 28). Kippenberger, who lives in Cologne, West Germany, presents pieces similar in form and presentation to those seen in Europe this year. This body of work is a myriad of structures, "crafted" in combinations of found, purchased and fabricated materials and objects and presented in large numbers together in random fashion - like a storage room or attic. They appear to be functional in an unspecified way and carry a variety of enigmatic referential titles that allude to private, public and art world situations.
In part, the work addresses the current art world proliferation of elegantly glorified appropriated objects. Kippenberger's reverse aesthetic of incorporation - the dense art and social meaning, confusion and awkwardness is at play here. Specific pieces include "Not to Be Second," an Aldo Rossi chair with holes drilled through the frame sitting atop a wood box; "Needy of Support," a bronze broom handle stuck at an angle into a lecturn-shaped fiberboard box; "Modell Interconti," a coffee table whose top is a small gray abstract painting by Gerhard Richter.
Amongst Kippenberger's earlier sculptures were similarly grouped papier mache Henry Moore-like torsos on spindly wood pedestals that more generally parody high art pretensions. The artist is widely-known for his painting and photographic collages which incorporate popular, cultural, art and political imagery and art conventions in a comparably unpretentious manner. This work was included in this year's "Berlinart" exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
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