Markus Lüpertz (German, b.1941) is a painter, sculptor, and writer known just as much for his sense of humor as for his art work. He was born in Liberec, Bohemia (now the Czech Republic), but his family migrated to Rheydt, Germany, in 1948. Lüpertz studied at the Werkkunstschule Krefeld, but worked as a coal miner for a year before studying at Academie Düsseldorf. He then spent a year working in road construction before traveling to Paris, France. Lüpertz moved back to Berlin in 1962 and created his Dithyrambic series of paintings. He opened the Galerie Grossgörschen 35 in Berlin in 1964 with his exhibition Dithyrambic Malerei. Two years later, he published Art That Gets in the Way, Dithyrambic Manifesto. Lupertz moved to Florence, Italy, in 1970, and won the German Critic''s Association Prize in 1971.
While known primarily for his art, Lupertz published a collection of poems in 1981, and has edited a journal since 2003. He has dabbled in theater productions as well; he did the stage design for the operas Vincent in 1982, Werther in 1983, and The Storm in 1991. If his work in literature wasn''t enough, he also created one of 12 cathedral windows for Machabaerchir in St. Andreas Cathedral in Cologne. He became a professor at the Staatlichen Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 1986. Lüpertz has won many awards and accolades including the Lovis Corinth Prize of the Artists Guild.
The artist’s work is an eclectic mix of abstraction, and his sculptures are primarily heads and faces with a few full body miniatures. Lüpertz’s sense of humor and disregard for the rules have also gained him a reputation. He once signed a student''s application form just because he thought it was funny that the students tried to sneak it through at a book signing. It is said he had silver rings made for several professors and a single gold ring for himself, possibly imitating the rings of the Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien (English, 1882–1973). The rings were also designed to help take the tops off beer bottles. Lüpertz currently lives and works in Düsseldorf and Karlsruhe, Germany.