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MARKUS LÜPERTZ

Recent Paintings

Markus Lüpertz, 2019.

Prof. Markus Lüpertz is one of the most influential contemporary German artists. Lüpertz has exhibited his paintings since the 1960s and began working in sculpture in the early 1980s. From 1988 to 2009 Markus Lüpertz was the Director of the famous Düsseldorf Art Academy. In addition to his work as an artist, Lüpertz is a free jazz pianist, writes poetry and prose, and founded the art and literary magazine Frau und Hund. His work has been presented in numerous international exhibitions, including solo shows at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Bundeskunsthalle of the Federal Republic of Germany, Bonn; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Times Art Museum, Beijing; Redtory Museum of Contemporary Art, Guangzhou; and China Art Museum, Shanghai; The State Hermitage, St. Petersburg; The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and Phillips Collection, Washington DC; and most recently at Haus der Kunst, Munich. Markus Lüpertz is the recipient of several honors and awards, including the Villa Romana Prize, the Lovis Corinth Prize of the Artists Guild, and the international Julio González Prize for his achievements in the field of visual arts. Markus Lüpertz lives and works in Berlin, Karlsruhe, Düsseldorf, and Florence.

Michael Werner Gallery, London is pleased to present an exhibition of recent paintings by Lüpertz. Painted over the last four years in Italy and Germany, the artist masterfully combines Southern and Northern European painting traditions while creating work that is new, innovative and contemporary.

Below, we will highlight some works from the exhibition paired with a selection of Old Master paintings by Antonio da Vendri, Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt van Rijn, and more.

Markus Lüpertz “is a contemporary artist who wants a future for his works and finds it by thinking about the past.”

– Art historian Eric Darragon

“Märkische Allee III”, 2017

Mixed media on canvas in artist’s frame

55 x 82 3/4 inches

140 x 210 cm

ML 2292

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Märkisch Wilmersdorf, Germany, near the artist’s studio.

In this new body of work, Lüpertz returns to the theme of Arcadia, a classic, pastoral utopia. Figures are pulled from Italian Renaissance and Dutch Golden Age paintings, given identities as characters from Greek mythology and placed into idyllic landscapes, largely inspired by the surroundings of his studio in Märkisch Wilmersdorf, Germany. A veteran painter who has exhibited worldwide for nearly sixty years, Lüpertz continues to explore art history and classicism and introduce new materials and methods in his oeuvre.

“As far as the visual arts are concerned, we live in a twilight of the gods. Painting, for example, is a gift from the gods to humanity. They commissioned the painter to reveal the world to humanity. But the ability of humanity to perceive nature  through painting dies out with the modern age. Our time stymies imagination through its media overload. So painting must occupy this void. Painting cannot be abolished any more than the divine, even if both are temporarily sinking into oblivion. In order to prevent this ‘twilight’, I paint and follow my calling.”

– Markus Lüpertz, in conversation with Dr. Ulf Jensen, 2020

“Eva (Märkisch) (Eve [Märkisch])”, 2017

Mixed media on canvas in artist’s frame

39 1/4 x 32 inches

100 x 81 cm

ML 2290

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Antonio da Vendri 

“The Judgment of Paris”, 1500 – 1524

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

In Greek mythology, Zeus held a banquet in celebration of the marriage of Peleus and Thetis (the parents of Achilles). Eris, the goddess of discord, was not invited. Angered, Eris attended the celebration anyway and brought a golden apple from the Garden of Hesperides. This apple was to be a gift to the most beautiful of the goddesses and Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite all vied for the title. Zeus, reluctant to declare a recipient, asked Paris, a Trojan mortal, to award the prize. Paris’s judgement set in motion the events that led to the Trojan War, as famously recounted in Homer’s Iliad.

Peter Paul Rubens

“Judgement of Paris”, 1636

National Gallery, London

“Every time has its dignity, and painters in particular know how to lend dignity to the imaginary, and to reveal its beauty with distinct originality. We have to define the dignity of our time, and this ensues through poetic and intellectual achievements, with pathos. In my opinion, there is no issue more pressing and relevant in the visual arts than this, and painting is suited best because of its freedoms. It transports dignity into the haptic and sensual. Dignity becomes tangible through painting.”

 

– Markus Lüpertz, in conversation with Dr. Ulf Jensen, 2020

 

“Jasons Abschied (Jason’s Farewell)”, 2020

Mixed media on canvas in artist’s frame

78 3/4 x 102 1/4 inches

200 x 260 cm

ML 2362

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Roman sarcophagus, ca. 150-200 CE

The Greek myth of Jason and the Golden Fleece is one of the oldest myths of a hero's quest. It is a classic story of betrayal and vengeance, and like many Greek myths has a tragic ending. Jason, who was refused his rightful ascension to the throne by his uncle, was promised coronation if he were to find his ancestor’s Golden Fleece. He does so with the help of the sorceress Medea, whose father had imposed yet another set of impossible challenges on Jason in exchange for the Fleece. Returning to Greece from Clochis to claim his throne, Medea and Jason are eventually forced into exile, where Jason takes on another wife, thus betraying his vows to the gods and Medea. In turn, Medea kills the second wife and her own children with Jason, then leaves for Mount Olympus. Jason goes back to lolkos; there, while asleep under the stern of his once-glorious ship Argo, a rotten beam falls on him, crushing him to death.

Jason was a popular figure on Roman sarcophagi because the ancient associated his quest with immortality and the conquest of death. This fragment depicts the marriage of Jason and Medea. 

“Arcadia is a refuge of the imagination, an idealized concept of time that can be set up wherever longing dictates – on a garbage dump or in Brandenburg. Therefore, we also need Arcadia in the north to poetically interpret our everyday life, as a spiritual asylum.”

– Markus Lüpertz, in conversation with Dr. Ulf Jensen, 2020

Slideshow 1

Slideshow 1 Thumbnails

Markus Lüpertz in his studio, 2020.

Markus Lüpertz in his studio, 2020.

Markus Lüpertz in his studio, 2020.

Markus Lüpertz in his studio, 2020.

Markus Lüpertz in his studio, 2020.

Markus Lüpertz in his studio, 2020.

Markus Lüpertz in his studio, 2020.

Markus Lüpertz in his studio, 2020.

Markus Lüpertz in his studio, 2020.

Markus Lüpertz in his studio, 2020.

Markus Lüpertz in his studio, 2020.

Markus Lüpertz in his studio, 2020.

Markus Lüpertz in his studio, 2020.

Markus Lüpertz in his studio, 2020.

Markus Lüpertz in his studio, 2020.

Markus Lüpertz in his studio, 2020.

Markus Lüpertz in his studio, 2020.

Markus Lüpertz in his studio, 2020.

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