Martin Kippenberger's series of 8 paintings, Jacqueline: The paintings Pablo couldn't paint anymore and one large sculpture, Modell Winnetou of 1996, are works completed the year prior to the German artist's death at the age of 44. The paintings are portraits of Jacqueline Picasso, based on photographs taken in Picasso's studio after the artist's death. The photographs included Picasso's paintings of Jacqueline in the studio, and of Jacqueline during what is described as a deeply disconsolate period of her life. Often, she is sitting in the studio amongst the couple's belongings and Picasso's paintings. In each of Kippenberger's portraits, Jacqueline is sketchily rendered, and merges with the abstract backgrounds of intense colors, stripes, and other signature Kippenberger elements that qualify as the artist's reference to modernist abstract painting. Kippenberger's poignant homage to Picasso incorporates recurring themes special to Kippenberger: the role of the artist's persona, the conventions of painting, immortality, and the role of the artwork in society. The series also reflects Kippenberger's affinity with Picasso's larger-than-life persona, particularly Picasso's central role in the Parisian art scene, his long, influential, and much-romanticized career, his celebrated relationships with women, and his demanding, charismatic personality. Kippenberger often depicted himself in self-portraits wearing only underwear pulled up old-mannishly high over his protruding belly. For a 1985 exhibition announcement, Kippenberger would use the famous photo of Picasso walking along the beach in what appear to be his briefs.
Kippenberger's sculpture Modell Winnetou consists of six chairs, designed by the artist, of different colors encircling a pile of wooden sticks. The title refers to a familiar German name for an American Indian character. Chairs have often entered into Kippenberger's sculpture as surrogate locations for social intercourse. The chairs themselves are metal versions of Spain's typical wooden cafe chairs, familiar to the artist from the time he spent living and working in Seville.
Kippenberger had six solo shows at Metro Pictures between 1985 and 1998, including the exhibition of Metro Net, which was planned before his death, for the gallery's first exhibition at its new Chelsea space. Kippenberger's paintings, sculptures, drawings, and artist's books have been extensively exhibited in museums and galleries throughout Europe and America. A major sculpture was included in the Carnegie International and venues for his one person exhibitions include the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Villa Arson, Nice; the Boymans van Beuningen Museum, Rotterdam; the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C.; and a retrospective at the Musee d'Art Moderne et Contemporain, Geneva.
A fully-illustrated catalogue for the exhibition was published by the gallery.
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