Martin Kippenberger's work is defined not only by the range of media he has used throughout his career, but also because he has taken paths on the fringes of the art world and often in the face of social assumptions, also within the sphere of art. His spheres of action include painting, sculpture, music, performance, photography, installation and publication. Many critics have pointed out the influences of Dada, Joseph Beuys, Gerhard Richter, Wolf Vostell or Sigmar Polke. He began to study art in Hamburg in 1972 and six years later made his first public appearance in the underground art and music world of Berlin, gathering around him many of the creators who would become famous painters in German neo-Expressionism over the next decade. In the eighties he adopted painting as his main means of expression. His works from that period are canvases roughly painted with images taken from popular publications and the media, with superimposed texts. The compositions are taken from abstraction, Constructivism and Minimalism. He seems to be reflecting on style as a social and historical, and not just an artistic phenomenon. That appropriationist conception of the work would also be made patent in his later installations and sculptures, always combined with a sour humour when dealing with social and political themes.
Jorge Luís Marzo