BIOGRAPHIES, MEMOIRS, DIARIES

PUBLISHER
J&L BOOKS

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 6 x 9 in. / 564 pgs / 25 bw.

PUBLISHING STATUS
PUB DATE 1/31/2012
Out of print

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. EXCLUSIVE
CATALOG: FALL 2011 p. 106   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9780982964217 TRADE
LIST PRICE: $34.95 CDN $34.95

AVAILABILITY
Not available

In “Kippenberger: The Artist and His Families, Susanne Kippenberger, the youngest of his four sisters, offers a tender, reasonably clear-eyed, oddly gripping account of her only brother’s headlong plunge through life. A journalist for a Berlin newspaper, she writes in a brisk, personable style that has been sensitively translated by Damion Searls, who has also done justice to Martin Kippenberger’s penchants for non sequiturs, malapropisms and skewed aphorisms (“Never give up before it’s too late”). She tries to keep the pros and cons of Kippenberger’s outsize personality in view, citing some of the most egregious examples of his art and behavior, but her sympathies are never in doubt.
She introduces him as “an anarchist and a gentleman” who “really was a child his whole life” and — nothing new where overachievers in the arts are concerned — “never felt sufficiently loved.” He “needed interaction the way others need solitude,” she writes of his almost complete inability to be alone. Wherever he went, he established a cohort of friends, collectors, dealers and fellow artists who were on call for nocturnal carousing, not to mention the prolonged birthday celebrations he liked to give himself. One close companion invented the word Zwangsbeglücker to describe his demanding sociability: someone who enforces “mandatory good cheer.” Friends sometimes found that sitting home with the lights out was the only defense against his unannounced visits. “Martin lived in Stuttgart for only six months,” Ms. Kippenberger writes dryly, “but it felt like years to many people.” The families of the book’s title encompass the informal ones that Kippenberger assembled around him as well as the real ones he insinuated himself into, usually those of wealthy patrons or well-placed girlfriends. But it is the rather wild and creative clan that produced him, and that Ms. Kippenberger knows firsthand, that is most affecting. It helps that they wrote good letters. In one, written when Martin, still a teenager, was responding well to drug rehab, his mother summed up her relationship with her son by describing herself as “a chicken that had hatched a duck, and now is clucking anxiously on the shore while the duck happily paddles around in the pond.”

- Roberta Smith, reviewing Kippenberger: The Artist and His Families in The New York Times Book Review

  

J&L BOOKS

Kippenberger

The Artist and His Families

Published by J&L Books
By Susanne Kippenberger. Translated by Damion Searls.

Over the course of his 20-year career, Martin Kippenberger (1953-1997) cast himself alternately as hard-drinking carouser and confrontational art-world jester, thrusting these personae to the forefront of his prodigious creativity. He was also very much a player in the international art world of the 1970s right up until his death in 1997, commissioning work from artists such as Jeff Koons and Mike Kelley, and acting as unofficial ringleader to a generation of German artists. Written by the artist's sister, Susanne Kippenberger, this first English-language biography draws both from personal memories of their shared childhood and exhaustive interviews with Kippenberger's extended family of friends and colleagues in the art world. Kippenbergergives insight into the psychology and drive behind this playful and provocative artist.

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

New York Times: Book Review

Roberta Smith

In “Kippenberger: The Artist and His Families,” Susanne Kippenberger, the youngest of his four sisters, offers a tender, reasonably cleareyed, oddly gripping account of her only brother’s headlong plunge through life. A journalist for a Berlin newspaper, she writes in a brisk, personable style that has been sensitively translated by Damion Searls, who has also done justice to Martin Kippenberger’s penchants for non sequiturs, malapropisms and skewed aphorisms (“Never give up before it’s too late”). She tries to keep the pros and cons of Kippenberger’s outsize personality in view, citing some of the most egregious examples of his art and behavior, but her sympathies are never in doubt.

FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 2/16/2012

Kippenberger: The Artist and His Families Reviewed in The New York Times Sunday Book Review

Kippenberger: The Artist and His Families Reviewed in <I>The New York Times Sunday Book Review</I>
The New York Times' Roberta Smith reviews Kippenberger: The Artist and His Families, Susanne Kippenberger's stupendous biography of her brother, published by J&L, this weekend in the Sunday Book Review. Below is a transcript of Smith's glowing review. continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 2/2/2012

Susanne Kippenberger: My Big Brother

Susanne Kippenberger: My Big Brother
We are pleased to feature an excerpt from Susanne Kippenberger's highly anticipated biography on her brother, the artist Martin Kippenberger. Her Introduction to Kippenberger: The Artist and His Families is below. continue to blog


Kippenberger

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