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Markus Lüpertz' Metamorphoses of World History at Albertina
Markus Lüpertz, Untitled, 1973. Gouache on kraft paper. ©Markus Lüpertz, Courtesy Gallery Michael Werner Berlin, Cologne and New York.
VIENNA.- Markus Lüpertz, born in 1941, has been one of Germany’s most important contemporary artists on the international scene for quite some time now. The presentation focuses on central themes of his oeuvre and, with its retrospective approach, offers a fascinating introduction into the creative process pursued by the painter, graphic artist, and sculptor: it highlights his “German Motifs,” his nudes, and his exploration of subjects from the canon of classical art and cultural history in a representative selection of about 100 works and seven bozzetti for the sculpture Daphne (2002–2005). Marking key positions in Markus Lüpertz’s oeuvre, about fifteen hitherto rarely presented monumental works on cardboard dating from the 1960s and after constitute the core of the exhibition. Spanning to current work groups, the show especially considers the artist’s cross-media principle of composition.

For Markus Lüpertz, closing in on the world as an artist is a permanent process. The objects he depicts and the subjects he explores, which strike us because of their sculptural power, turn into symbols of archaic monumentality. Lüpertz insists on capturing his motifs with an archetypical statement on their existence. This may be achieved by focusing on everyday subjects like in his early “dithyrambic pictures” or “German Motifs” or by exploring the pictorial worlds of outstanding masters of the past such as Courbet or Poussin, be pivoted on stories and figures of antiquity like Daphne or the Three Graces, or concern certain traditional genres like landscapes and nudes or such problems as contrapposto. The dialogue begins with drawings and sketches circling and ensnaring the motif or subject in question. Lüpertz meticulously fathoms his subjects’ forms, their shadowy hollows, and mountains of light, condensing them until they, having completed their metamorphosis, emerge from their pupae. The variations and repetitions constitute series which, presenting themselves in film-like parades, as it were, evidence the processual character of Lüpertz’s production.


Albertina | Markus Lüpertz | Contemporary Art |


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