Markus Lüpertz

Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.)

Berliners were recently offered a dramatic restaging of Markus Lüpertz sculptures and paintings, primarily from the mid ’70s to the present, in four concurrent shows. Lüpertz work assimilates and transforms the formal vocabularies of Modernism—especially Cubism, but also Symbolism and gestural painting—into a flamboyant expressionistic style. What seemingly has become a necessary adjunct to the work is the public persona of the artist himself, who, with media savvy and a tremendous output of energy, insistently plays the genius, the macho man, the jewel-studded dandy—a kind of Muhammad Ali of German painting.

To judge from the works in these four exhibitions, this showy effect has a certain psychological justification in terms of the nondevelopment of Lüpertz art. Few of the works shown have more than the effect of a déjà vu today; therefore, what they themselves lack in power must apparently

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