Markus Lüpertz

Waddington Gallery

Inspired by Alice in Wonderland, Markus Lüpertz made 48 paintings during a six-month period in late 1980 and 1981. In spirit, if not in appearance,they combine that blend of the absurd and the pompous stressed by Sir John Tenniel with elements of secrecy and terror which are Lüpertz’ own addition. The contrast in Lewis Carroll’s book between implacable authority and a natural order in which flux seems the dominant principle yields two distinct styles in Lüpertz’ rendering. In the first, a type of Surrealist portraiture, shapes like deserted buildings are situated in landscapes; the Caterpillar, the White Rabbit, the Mock Turtle, and the March Hare are among the characters dealt with in this way. The second style, an Abstract Expressionist throwback, improvises on snatches of songs and poems—a line from “You are old, Father William,” “Twinkle, twinkle, little bat,” the barking chorus of

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the April 1982 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.