Lot 120
  • 120

MARTIN KIPPENBERGER | R.R.R. (Ronald Reagan's Regenschirm)

200,000 - 300,000 GBP
Log in to view results
bidding is closed


  • Martin Kippenberger
  • R.R.R. (Ronald Reagan's Regenschirm)
  • titled
  • oil and plastic toys on canvas
  • 120 by 100 cm. 47 1/4 by 39 3/8 in.
  • Executed in 1982.


Galerie Grässlin, Frankfurt
Acquired from the above by the present owner


Ulm, Studio f, Kippenberger zum Thema ‘Fiffen, Faufen und Verfaufen’, October - December 1982
Stuttgart, Galerie Max Hetzler, Werner Büttner. Martin Kippenberger. Albert Oehlen. Markus Oehlen, February - March 1983, pp. 50-51, illustrated
New York, Petzel Gallery, Martin Kippenberger, Albert Oehlen, Dana Schutz, September - October 2018


Colour:The colour in the catalogue illustration is fairly accurate, although the grey is slightly lighter and brighter and the green tones are brighter and more vibrant. Condition: This work is in very good condition. All collaged elements are stable. Very close inspection reveals some very fine drying cracks in isolated places, most notably towards the upper left hand corner in the ochre pigment and some compressed impasto peaks. Extremely close inspection reveals some tiny spots of wear to all four corner tips. No restoration is apparent when examined under ultra-violet light.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

Catalogue Note

Martin Kippenberger’s 1982 painting R.R.R. (Ronald Reagan's Regenschirm) [Ronald Reagan’s Umbrella] is a uniquely timely and political work in the practice of one of the most important artists of the twentieth century. The illustrative and textual painting that depicts the 40th President of the United States and his wife, Nancy Reagan, is superbly spirited; combining the painterly vigour that was becoming synonymous with a group of German artists working in Berlin and Cologne in the early 1980s – including Werner Büttner, Walter Dahn, and Albert Oehlen – and the Pop psychology of American culture that Kippenberger scrutinised throughout his career. In many respects, Kippenberger is indebted to Andy Warhol for both capitalising the banal, “low” culture of popular media and exchange, in addition to instituting the notion of the artist-as-celebrity. Bob Colacello has commented on such an affinity here, stating: “Andy [Warhol] was the pope of Pop and [Ronald] Reagan was the first pop president” (Bob Colacello, ‘Me and Andy …And Ronald Reagan’, Tate Etc, Autumn 2009, online). Identified as a Selbstdarsteller by Art critic Diedrich Diederichsen – a term he translates as ‘self-performer’ – Kippenberger was an artist who was astutely aware of his own role as an impresario and antagonist, a practitioner with an immense vocabulary of references and styles that he employed with a neurotic wit. As Kippenberger’s seminal Lieber Maler, male mir (1981) series, where Kippenberger hired a sign painter to produce his paintings – would suggest, he toyed with convention and parodied the ruling method, a Warholian mode of production for his paintings in the style of Gerhard Richter. In R.R.R. (Ronald Reagan's Regenschirm), however, Kippenberger adopts his exemplary style of painterly mark-making that is consistent across his oeuvre – a zealous, illustrative quality that pitches figurative subjects against abstract passages of paint.

The present work offers a strong frame of reference in the presidential subject, but does not ask to be read as an explicitly political painting. In the artists self-penned curriculum vitae, Kippenberger lists: "1986 […] Anti-Apartheid Drinking Congress during the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh: the first and only political act in the artist’s work" (Martin Kippenberger, ‘Martin Kippenberger: Life and Work’, in: Exh. Cat., London, Tate Modern, Martin Kippenberger, 2006, p. 168). As a retired actor-turned-politician, Ronald Reagan, instead, represents the reinvented man – a style that Kippenberger adopted as a way of life and precedent for art making. R.R.R. (Ronald Reagan's Regenschirm) demonstrates not only Kippenberger’s audacious dexterity and scope as a draughtsman, but his deepened artistic dialogue with American culture, status symbols and a subversive self-referentialism.