Lot Details

This work from Martin Kippenberger’s 1989 ‘Disco Bombs’ series features a mirrored disco ball set atop a curly blond wig. This visually engaging series examined the role of the artist as well as his relation to fame, glamour, and his passion for disco dancing. Kippenberger was deeply invested in sculpture, making it an integral part of his artistic practice for the last ten years of his life. Drawing upon utopian themes in objects and design, Kippenberger examined ideas of function and dysfunction in a three dimensional context. There are 12 variants of the Disco Bomb (9 + 3 APs), with a different wig for each disco ball. This work is called Harpo, due to its resemblance to Harpo Marx’s own iconic hairstyle.

The 'Harpo' Disco Bomb is featured on the cover of "Martin Kippenberger: The Problem Retrospective" published by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

This work does not include the original certificate but it has been approved by the publisher, Edition Julie Sylvester.

German artist Martin Kippenberger (1953-1997) created humorous and ironic work which focused around the artist’s place within modern society. His often controversial art knew no boundaries, using paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, and installations to expose the underlying issues in humanity. Never one to follow the rules, Kippenberger strove to go beyond the boundaries of ‘high art’ by creating his own genres and recycling those that came before him. Drawing inspiration from an amalgamation of movements including Pop, Social Realism, Neo-Expressionism, and Geometric Abstraction as well as from artists such as Pablo Picasso, Sigmar Polk,and Joseph Beuys, he created his own completely unique artwork that reassessed the function of artists in history and society. Though his premature death at the age of 44 was tragic, his legacy continues to live on as his work was recently on display in a retrospective show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, NY.

Select Public Collections:
Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY)
Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, IL)
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington, DC)
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (San Francisco, CA)
Tate Gallery (London, UK)

Read more
Publication: Goldstein, Ann and Lisa Gabrielle Mark, eds. "Martin Kippenberger: The Problem Perspective". The MIT Press; 2008. (cover)
The seller has recorded the following condition for this lot:
Are there any restorations?
Date: 2012/y
Location: Chicago, Ill
Notes: Disco ball sat on wig on floor for nearly 20 years. Wig was recently hand cleaned around weave edges to get rid of floor dirt, which brought evenness to the color and luster. Over time some of the glass squares became loose or fell off the ball. They were glued back as part of the restoration process.
Degree: Minor
Further information unavailable – contact Specialist for details
Surface Cracking (on synthetic materials, rubber, etc.)
Overall Yes
Date: Old
Notes: Disco ball sat on wig on floor for nearly 20 years. Wig was recently hand cleaned around edges to get rid of floor dirt, which brought evenness to all color and brought back the luster. Over time some of the glass squares became loose on the ball and were glued back into place as required.
Surface Soiling
Overall Yes
Date: Old
Notes: Wig was hand cleaned. Curls are exactly as they were when I purchased the piece many years ago. Limited hand washing did not take curls out or in any manner impact them.

Definition Key
Image The central image area, composition, or focal point; the area inside the margins/plate marks.
Margin Areas bordering the central image, outside the plate marks, or the perimeter area.
Edge The farthest edge of the object.
Verso The reverse/back of the object.

Minor An existing condition which generally does not involve risk of loss.
Moderate Noticeable damage, increasing in severity and/or size; should be monitored or corrected by a conservator.
Major Distinct, recognizable damage; the stability of the work is questionable and risk is a factor. Requires the attention of a conservator.
Extreme Advanced and severe damage; work is insecure and at great risk.

  • Barbara Balkin Fine Arts, 1990; Private Collection.
  • Pickup Location: Illinois, USA
  • Shipping Dimensions: 15 x 11.5 x 11.5 in. (38.1 x 29.21 x 29.21 cm.)

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