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Martin Kippenberger in his studio posing for the series Das FloŖ der Medusa (The Raft of the Medusa), Vienna, 1996
Photo by E. Semotan
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The Artist Who Did Everything
by Jerry Saltz



Midway through "Martin Kippenberger: The Problem Perspective," a show I expected to be good but uneven, I found myself stunned. I had just been through several galleries filled with his early work -- a painting of a fragmenting Guggenheim Museum, a photo of Kippenberger holding a bomb with the World Trade Center behind him, a brown Ford sprinkled with oat flakes, a mannequin of the artist standing in a corner, and what looks like a self-portrait bearing the title The Mother of Joseph Beuys. Then, in a room packed with The Peter Sculptures, a tremendous installation that looked like a storeroom or a swap meet, I understood. The curators, Ann Goldstein and Ann Temkin, were shutting down the awful academic echo chamber that has tried to turn Kippenberger into one cutout caricature or another: cagey gamesman, esthetic tinkerer, fun drunk, anti-hero. They let his insurrectionary freedom and radicalism come out.

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