Opening: Friday, 2nd February 2018, 7 pm
The exhibition takes a fresh look at the work of Maria Lassnig (1919, Krasta, AT – 2014, Vienna) and Martin Kippenberger (1953, Dortmund, D – 1997, Vienna, AT) revealing hitherto unexplored connections between these two illustrious artists.
Though they never met, and belonged to different generations, in an era dominated by abstract painting both chose to place the human body firmly at the centre of their work. Their art explores the human body as a tormented expression of the self and the world, and a fragmented, deconstructed entity that is a metaphor for social and psychological conflicts, as well as the theatrical, performative element – its propensity for slipping into different roles in way that is ironic, sometimes even tragic. These are the connections that emerge from more than sixty works spanning two decades – from the 1990s to the 2000s – including paintings, drawings, videos and installations. Several of the pieces have been shown only rarely, while others are being exhibited in Italy for the very first time.
As well as the points of connection between the two artists, the show also highlights the differences in their approach to the theme: Lassnig takes a more obsessive, introverted view, with feminist overtones, while Kippenberger’s work embraces the grotesque, with a darkly humorous vein. The show also draws attention to the artists’ milieu in terms of art history, culture and psychoanalytical elements: the context in which this focus on representing the human body arose.
Curated by Veit Loers
Foto: Martin Kippenberger, Untitled (from the series The Raft of Medusa), 1996. © Estate of Martin Kippenberger, Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne