Body Check. Martin Kippenberger – Maria Lassnig

An exhibition at Lenbachhaus, Munich
 Maria Lassnig Die Lebensqualität (Quality of Life), 2001, Oil on canvas, 195 cm x 205 cm © Maria Lassnig Stiftung / Foundation
 Martin Kippenberger Untitled (from the series The Raft of Medusa), 1996, Oil on canvas, 150 cm x 180 cm © Estate of Martin Kippenberger, Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne
 Maria Lassnig Illusion von den versäumten Heiraten II (Illusion of the Missed Marriages II), 1998, Oil on canvas, 125 cm x 100 cm Photo: Roland Krauss © Maria Lassnig Stiftung / Foundation
 Martin Kippenberger Untitled (from the series Fred the frog), 1990, Oil, acrylic on canvas, 240 cm x 200 cm Photo: Lothar Schnepf © Estate of Martin Kippenberger, Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne
 Maria Lassnig Porträt Ulrike Ottinger und Tabea Blumenschein, 1978, Oil on canvas, 120 x 135 cm, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus und Kunstbau München, Schenkung von Ulrike Ottinger © Maria Lassnig Stiftung / Foundation
 Martin Kippenberger Untitled (from the series Hand Painted Pictures) 1992, Oil on canvas, 180 cm x 150 cm Private Collection. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth Collection Services © Estate of Martin Kippenberger, Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne
 Maria Lassnig Ohne Titel (Untitled), ca. 1995-2009, Oil on canvas, 130 cm x 100 cm © Maria Lassnig Stiftung / Foundation

The exhibition BODY CHECK. Martin Kippenberger – Maria Lassnig ventures an unexpected encounter: it is the first to confront the works of these two influential protagonists of twentieth-century painting with each other.

Both artists undertake a searching painterly examination of their own physical existence. The frail and fragmented body serves them as a metaphor for social and psychological conflict. Pain and suffering, absurdity and humor are inextricably interwoven in these studies of the flesh.

Maria Lassnig and Martin Kippenberger sought to cast the maladies of human life into artistic form by dramatizing the female and male bodies. Their theatrical creations are self-portraits in the classical sense, but without the air of heroism which is a hallmark of the genre. Both reveal their disfigurements and the ravages of illness in depictions that are alternately mocking and self-pitying – but never fall for the trope of the eminent artist and his traditional attitudes.

The results are touching self-explorations; in Lassnig’s works, they take on an aspect of obsession and introversion as she wrestles with the theme of the artist’s role, framing what we can recognize today as a feminist perspective. Kippenberger’s paintings, sculptures, and drawings signal a sense of humor that complements Lassnig’s wit with a note of inscrutable grotesquerie.

The exhibition is arranged to initiate intimate conversations between about one hundred selected works on loan from international collections that are rarely on public display. A dialogue commences that reveals intersections and shared concerns as well as differences between the artist’s approaches to the theme of the body.

 

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Curated by Veit Loers, in collaboration Elisabeth Giers and Matthias Mühling

Duration: May 21 to September 15, 2019

A catalogue accompanying the exhibition (de/it/eng) with essays by Kirsty Bell, Anna Fricke, Veit Loers, and Peter Pakesch has been released by snoeck publishers. An exhibition project in cooperation with the Museion. Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Bozen/Bolzano