The Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (MAM Paris) has opened German artist Markus Lüpertz’s first retrospective in France. Comprising nearly 140 works, the exhibition traces Lüpertz’s career from his most recent work, including the “Arcadia” series of 2012, back to its beginnings in the 1960s.
According to MAM Paris, Lüpertz’s imagination and creativity have long made him a major figure on the European art scene, whose paintings, sculptures, drawings, and poems involve a constant questioning of art and the role of the artist. Lüpertz began painting in a postwar Germany dominated by American Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art. But Lüpertz broke free of these movements and forged his own path, imposing his own style of painting that MAM Paris calls reflective, non-gestural, and based on a constant testing of limit.
Throughout his career, Lüpertz has exhibited a preoccupation with the relationship between figuration and abstraction. His unique vision offers a fresh reading of the history of modern art by initiating a dialogue between painting and sculpture, figuration and abstraction, past and present.
In the exhibition catalogue, Fabrice Hergott, director of MAM Paris, describes Lüpertz’s incomparable body of work as “crisscrossing countless fields of painting and sculpture, from mythology to abstraction, from Alice in Wonderland to Poussin and Goya.”
“The paintings objectify an imaging surface, creator of figures composed within a certain order, constructed like abstractions. For that, he uses all the artisan processes he has mostly invented himself,” says Mr. Hergott.
Highlights of the exhibition include works from his seminal series of “dithyrambic” paintings, which the artist described as “imposing a construction on existing objects; examples of his German history-inspired “German motifs”; and a piece from his recent Greek mythology-inspired “Arcadia” series.