Studio Sunday: Martin Kippenberger

A photo of Albert Oehlen with Martin Kippenberger in his studio


It’s Studio Sunday, so check out Martin Kippenberger’s studio. The artist is pictured here with friend and fellow artist Albert Oehlen in Kippenberger’s studio. Kippenberger was extremely prolific and well known for his “artist persona,” frequently seen as an intense, hard-drinking and brooding figure.


Kippenberger was known for producing an astonishing volume of work over the course of his relatively short artistic career. Given this reputation, the above studio looks somewhat unassuming.  A few paintings hang on the wall and there seems to be a drying rack on the left side of the room, probably stuffed with more canvases or drawings by the artist. There are also a few shelves laden with supplies. Overall this studio is very reminiscent of the sort of shared spaces that are available to students in art schools, and it does have something of a nostalgic feel to it. Judging from the age of the photo, perhaps Kippenberger was still a student when it was taken!


Like fellow artist Uwe Kowski, Kippenberger studied at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst Leipzig, and he soon made a name for himself as one of the important German artists of that generation, including other such as Markus Oehlen. Kippenberger also made a number of works that were not strictly paintings. In one politically charged work he purchased a gas station in Brazil, renaming it the Martin Bormann gas station. The artist reportedly installed a telephone line inside the station that station employees were obliged to answer - I wonder if the telephone on the table in the above photo later became a part of that work. 

[image source]

Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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