new-york

Martin Kippenberger

Metro Pictures

The world is Martin Kippenberger’s bauble, and art finds its redemption as an agent of his extended dalliances within the Euro-American cultural theater. His medley of art workings, coupled with tactics of distribution and promotion, comprise the essential ingredients of a model—or esthetics—of social networking. The development and maintenance of a court of acolytes is as much his “art” as the paintings, sculptures, installations, drawings, and ephemera themselves. It’s all very neodecadent, but somehow Kippenberger has enough élan and conceptual gumption to woo even the most skeptical. He has managed to torque the cultural stereotype of the artist-as-delinquent-adolescent into a behavioral model that can be alternately occupied and abandoned—a charming instability that becomes iconic.

A dandy of hijacked ideas and hijinks, Kippenberger is at his best when he is really at his

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