PROPERTY OF AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTOR
Private Collection, New York
Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin
Phillips, London, 12 February 2010, Lot 15
Acquired from the above by the present owner
Featuring a transparent ballot box with an open hatch, the present work appears to confront a divided political bias. Split by the table itself, the cast vote is half red – the signature for the Communist East – while the other half is a more neutral grey. Created five years before the fall of the Berlin wall when the divide between East and West Germany was still stringently enforced, this work invokes the troubling schism of a country still tangibly living with the after-effects of the Second World War. However, unlike other artists of this period, such as Anselm Kiefer, this confrontation does not attempt to rectify the past or bare encumbrance, but appears instead as fierce defiance or cajoling of taboos relating to collective memory and trauma. Alison Gingeras notes that “Kippenberger was political, but that was not his central thesis; it was just another set of rules to exploit” (Alison M. Gingeras, ‘Kippenbergiana: Avant-Garde Value in Contemporary Painting’ in: Mark Holbern, Ed., The Triumph of Painting, London 2005, p. 6). Throughout his diverse and provocative career, Kippenberger continuously tested the rule book and attempted to subvert artistic tradition. Indeed, while it may seem customary that he should produce this work with oils on canvas, it must be noted that the medium was considered passé during the 1980s, when cool Minimalism and conceptualism reigned supreme. Therefore, even in this small and unassuming way, the medium of Der letzte Befehl im Museum für unnötige Kriegsforschung is a continuation of Kippenberger’s rebellious punk-fuelled intentions.
The artist's overarching rejection of a specific style and medium resulted in a tremendously varied legacy in which works executed in any format and medium stand testament to an extensively innovative and pluralistic mind. Picking up on charged political agendas and outmoded forms of artistic expression, Der letzte Befehl im Museum für unnötige Kriegsforschung serves as a prime example of Kippenberger’s rebellious and humorous nature, even in the face of fraught cultural taboos.
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.
Online Registration to Bid is Closed for this Sale. Would you like to watch the live sale?Ver Subasta En Directon