Exhibitions > >

Martin Kippenberger & Sigmar Polke: JA, JA, JA, NEE, NEE, NEE

Apr 18 - May 31, 2015

Installation view of JA, JA, JA, NEE, NEE, NEE


Sigmar Polke | Martin Kippenberger
66 Orchard Project Space is pleased to present Ja, Ja, Ja, Nee, Nee, Nee, an exhibition featuring the works of prolific German artists Sigmar Polke and Martin Kippenberger, presenting the parallels between the two artists in a uniquely performative way. The iron-barbed retorts of Pop Art and Modernism at large, visual detritus that ranges from generalized to uniquely Germanic, and an overall sense of inescapable chaos and anarchic frenzy within their artwork is distilled and expanded into new engaging dimensions, as the space is transformed into a playfully delirious amalgamation of a 1980s artist studio, German punk nightclub, and hotel room after-party.

Polke’s scathing mockery of art culture, alchemic approach to art-making, and integration of inebriated perception within his work are presented within the exhibition. Drug paraphernalia litter the project space, alluding to Polke’s whirlwind lifestyle as well as his experimentation with synthetics and chemical reactions within his art. The kitschy, clunky apparatuses further illustrate the ingenuity of materials and concepts that Polke merged into his artwork, functioning as a witty, cynically satirical take on the concept of the readymade.

Riffing on Kippenberger’s transcendent self-awareness of his role as a larger-than-life “superstar artist” and a cultural performer, the jocular yet tragically revealing autobiographical elements of his work are on full display within Ja, Ja, Ja, Nee, Nee, Nee. Embodying the same type of caustically narcissistic and self-parodying type of humor used by Kippenberger himself, darkly comic allusions to his ultimately fatal self-destructive lifestyle are employed throughout the space. Kippenberger’s concept of artist-as-performer is front and center, his exaggerated persona built on excess, transience, and the appropriation of cultural ephemera is deftly constructed to sardonically demolish the art-world cliché of the “untamed artistic genius”.

Ja, Ja, Ja, Nee, Nee, Nee transforms the 66 Orchard Project space into an unearthly, liminal manifestation of the work of both Polke and Kippenberger. The exhibition encompasses the bleary, bombastic, spaced out pack-rat mentality of the artists, bringing their work into a next level of existence through an enacted party-like environment. Images, aesthetics, and cultural ideologies are referenced, appropriated, and built up only to be utterly obliterated in an extraordinary display of self-cannibalization and unflinching critical interrogation.