EXHIBITION Markus LUPERTZ : A Retrospective

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At the Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris, until 19th July 2015.

Markus LUPERTZ, 'Ohne Titel' (Sans titre), 2013. Photo Eric Simon.

Markus LUPERTZ, ‘Ohne Titel’ (Sans titre), 2013. Photo Eric Simon.

The Museum of Modern Art of Paris presents, in reverse order, the rich and varied career of painter and sculptor Markus Lüpertz (born in 1941). Lüpertz is a major artist of the German scene, who draws much of his inspiration from contemporary history, Greek mythology and the tension between representation and abstraction. His first French retrospective features the distinct periods of his work, which never fails to surprise.
 

Legends and Greek mythology

Markus LUPERTZ 'Odysseus II' (Ulysse II), 2014 - bronze peint. Photo Eric Simon.

Markus LUPERTZ ‘Odysseus II’ (Ulysse II), 2014 – bronze peint. Photo Eric Simon.

This exhibition brings together more than 140 iconic works. The most recent production of the artist is unveiled within the first room. A large sculpture in painted bronze, representing a man’s bust without arms, is greeting us with a blank stare. It is surrounded by monumental paintings from the “Arcadias” series, made between 2013 and 2015. Markuz Lüpertz breaks here with the classical representation of mythological scenes by integrating fragmented bodies and unusual objects like steel helmets, or shells. These scenes, which have no narrative framework, remind us of collages.

 

Towards abstraction

The large canvases from the series “Men Without Women. Parsifal ” are part of the largest body of work made by the artist between 1993 and 1997. This series refers to Perceval – the central character of the novel by Chrétien de Troyes – and its operatic treatment by Wagner. The portraits of Parsifal are characterized by a high degree of simplification. Represented frontally and without any volume, the facial components such as the eyes, nose and mouth are reduced to simple lines, approaching abstraction.

Markus LUPERTZ, 'Männer ohne Frauen. Parsifal' (Hommes sans Femmes, Parsifal), 1994. Tempera, huile sur toile. Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris 2015.

Markus LUPERTZ, ‘Männer ohne Frauen. Parsifal’ (Hommes sans Femmes, Parsifal), 1994. Tempera, huile sur toile. Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris 2015.

 

Dithyrambic paintings

After venturing through rooms dedicated to the series on war (1992) and German history (1970-1976), the viewer discovers the ‘dithyrambic’ paintings. For this series made between 1963 and 1976 Markus Lüpertz uses a technique called “tempera”, a process in which the pigments are bound by emulsion and used to apply paint in thin layers. Lüpertz simplifies forms and magnifies details that “drive the object towards its monumentality.” The figurative subjects from everyday life are removed from their conventional context and thus lose their original meaning, thereby taking on abstract qualities.

 

Markus LUPERTZ. 'Zelt 40 - dithyrambisch', 1965 © Galerie Michael Werner Cologne, Märkisch Wilmersdorf & New York/Lothar Schn. Expo Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris 2015.

Markus LUPERTZ. ‘Zelt 40 – dithyrambisch’, 1965 © Galerie Michael Werner Cologne, Märkisch Wilmersdorf
& New York/Lothar Schnepf © ADAGP, Paris 2015. Expo Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris 2015.

 
The Museum of Modern Art of Paris’ retrospective highlights the assured eye of an artist who continues to influence younger generations of artists. A show not to be missed!

Portrait de l’artiste Markus LUPERTZ dans son atelier, 2008. © Andreas Mühe © ADAGP, Paris 2015

Portrait de l’artiste Markus LUPERTZ dans son atelier,
2008. © Andreas Mühe
© ADAGP, Paris 2015

Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris

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1 Comment

  1. Siegfried Schulz   •  

    Ein sehr guter Artikel, der Lust auf die Ausstellung macht. Luepertz ist ausserhalb Deutschlands relativ unbekannt, was sich hoffentlich aendern wird!

    Siegfried

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