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Havana Biennial 2019: Constructing the Possible Ocula Report Havana Biennial 2019: Constructing the Possible 17 Apr 2019 : Federica Bueti for Ocula

I first visited Havana in November 2016, a few days after Fidel Castro died, and just under a year before Hurricane Irma hit Cuba in September 2017. Since then, much has changed, including the hand-painted signs that punctuate the journey from the airport to the city centre, which today do not celebrate the revolution so much as the 'Unidad y...

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Andrew Stahl and Guo Xiaohui Ocula Conversation Andrew Stahl and Guo Xiaohui

The exhibition Beyond Boundaries at Somerset House in London (12 March–2 April 2019) marked the historic contributions of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, on the occasion of their 100th and 150th anniversaries, respectively. Spread across several rooms of Somerset House's...

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The National 2019: New Australian Art Ocula Report The National 2019: New Australian Art 13 Apr 2019 : Elyse Goldfinch for Ocula

The National 2019: New Australian Art features work by 70 contemporary Australia-based artists split across three venues: the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) (29 March–21 July 2019), as curated by Isobel Parker Philip, curator of photographs at AGNSW; Daniel Mudie Cunningham,...

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Markus Lüpertz

b. 1941, Germany

Markus Lüpertz is a German Neo-Expressionist artist known to push boundaries while questioning what art is or should be. His unique style of painting simplifies form, blending the figurative and abstract. Often he will crop his compositions to include only heads or faces with torsos. His work references biblical, mythological and historical themes, particularly militarism and the idea of the protagonist in comparison to the anti-hero.

Lüpertz’s ‘Deutsche Motive’ series in the 1970s caused much controversy. Exploring German history, World War II and the Nazi era, the symbolism he employed initiated a fraught relationship with his audience. Though contentious amidst the moral gloom of the aftermath of war, Lüpertz’s symbols—helmets, officers’ caps and military equipment—focus on formal qualities such as line, colour and texture. These emotional works were significant in shaping the post-war image of Germany. As Robert Ayers wrote in a June 2017 Ocula Magazine report, ‘this strand in Lüpertz’s art is now seen as part of an outdated current in post-war German history, which allowed a younger generation of German people to find their own identity not saddled by their parents’ guilt and as part of a contemporary Europe.’

Though many of his war paintings were completed when Minimalism and Conceptualism were on the rise and painting was falling out of fashion, Lüpertz’s steadfast pursuit of the medium of paint drove him to challenge art historical forces. This is one of the reasons why today he is recognised as one of the most important figures in Neo-Expressionist art. Lüpertz’s other paintings—including flattened and patchy landscapes and loose-limbed figures—are known to tap into ideas of memory, recollection and distortion while referencing philosophers such as Nietzsche. Alongside these works, the artist has produced sculptures (since the 1980s), pottery and poetry. He has also designed sets and costumes for theatre and the opera. 

As a child Lüpertz grew up in Rheydt, Rhineland (formerly West Germany). He entered the School of Applied Art in Krefeld in 1956 and later studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf—one of Germany’s most prestigious art schools—before travelling through Paris and beginning the most active years of his artistic practice. Lüpertz’s career gained much traction over the more than 20 years that he was head of Kunstakademie Düsseldorf.

Today Lüpertz lives and works between Düsseldorf and Berlin, Germany.

Jessica Douglas | Ocula | 2017
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Featured Artworks

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Stillleben mit Vase II (Still Life with Vase II) by Markus Lüpertz contemporary artwork Markus LüpertzStillleben mit Vase II (Still Life with Vase II), 2012 Mixed media on canvas in artist's frame
129 x 189 cm
AYE Gallery
Daphne 7 by Markus Lüpertz contemporary artwork Markus LüpertzDaphne 7, 2002 Painted bronze
65 x 30.5 x 27 cm
AYE Gallery
Vision des Poussin by Markus Lüpertz contemporary artwork Markus LüpertzVision des Poussin, 2012 Mixed media on board in artist’s frame
61 x 104.1 cm
Almine Rech
Susanne (Märkisch) by Markus Lüpertz contemporary artwork Markus LüpertzSusanne (Märkisch), 2018 Mixed media on canvas
219 x 263.5 x 7 cm
Almine Rech
Arkadien (Archeron) by Markus Lüpertz contemporary artwork Markus LüpertzArkadien (Archeron), 2018 Mixed media on canvas
217 x 267 x 9 cm (incl frame)
Almine Rech
Das Bad (Märkisch) by Markus Lüpertz contemporary artwork Markus LüpertzDas Bad (Märkisch), 2018 Mixed media on wood
183 x 186.5 x 7 cm (incl frame)
Almine Rech
Palette (Arkadien) Altrosa by Markus Lüpertz contemporary artwork Markus LüpertzPalette (Arkadien) Altrosa, 2018 Mixed media on canvas
116 x 97 x 7 cm (incl frame)
Almine Rech
Tod des Fragonard by Markus Lüpertz contemporary artwork Markus LüpertzTod des Fragonard, 2018 Painted bronze
76 x 185 x 102 cm
Almine Rech

Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Group exhibition, Angelus Novus at AYE Gallery, Beijing
Closed
26–31 March 2019 Group exhibition Angelus Novus AYE Gallery, Beijing
Contemporary art exhibition, Markus Lüpertz, Markus Lüpertz at Almine Rech, Paris
Closed
13 October–24 November 2018 Markus Lüpertz Markus Lüpertz Almine Rech, Paris
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, A New Spirit Then, A New Spirit Now, 1981-2018 at Almine Rech, London
Closed
2 October–17 November 2018 Group Exhibition A New Spirit Then, A New Spirit Now, 1981-2018 Almine Rech, London

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

Markus Lüpertz: a bull in the china shop of cultural history Ocula Report Markus Lüpertz: a bull in the china shop of cultural history 23 June 2017

This is quite an event: twin exhibitions of paintings by Markus Lüpertz, one of the giants of late 20th-century European art, taking place at The Phillips Collection and Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. This first collaboration between these two jewels in Washington, D.C.'s cultural crown, Markus Lüpertz (at The Phillips until 3 September)...

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In Related Press

The Spirit of Painting in an Altered World Related Press The Spirit of Painting in an Altered World Hyperallergic : 12 May 2018

'A faint, beautiful memory' is how curator Norman Rosenthal described A New Spirit Then, A New Spirit Now, 1981-2018, the current show at Almine Rech Gallery on the Upper East Side. What he’s remembering, as spelled out in the exhibition’s title, is the seminal survey, A New Spirit in Painting, which opened, barely, at the Royal Academy of Arts in...

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