Two Proletarian Women Inventors on Their Way to the Inventors’ Congress, 1984

Here, the title is of fundamental importance: “Two Proletarian Women Inventors on Their Way to the Inventors’ Conference”. As is often the case with Kippenberger, it is part of the concept. The painter creates an ironic chasm between what we see and what it is called.

But at whom or what is this irony directed? Behind the two dynamically striding women we can see a grey rectangle. It can be interpreted as an allusion to Suprematism – an art movement which elevated the socialist utopia onto an abstract plane. The official Communist art doctrine, however, was so-called “Social Realism” – the style in which Kippenberger painted the two women inventors. The grey backdrop, in turn, is set against an expressively turbulent whirlpool of colour. The painterly approach is reminiscent of the “Informel” mode – outlawed in Communist countries, traded for high prices in the West. Kippenberger’s irony thus goes in many directions. With his stylistic quotations he mocks abstract utopias just as he does painting in adherence to political specifications – perhaps that which the two have in common: the exploitation of painting for ideological purposes.

© Martin Kippenberger

Oil and silicone on canvas
160 × 133 cm
Inv. No. 2234

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