Mixed media on canvas in artist’s frame 100 x 81 cm Price: $150,000 plus any applicable taxes
Markus Lüpertz is a highly accomplished German painter and sculptor. Over a career spanning nearly sixty years, he has consistently challenged the norms of contemporary art. Lüpertz's ideas and inspiration are often rooted in the history of painting. His first mature paintings addressed "pop" imagery and developed ideas of abstraction and pictorial invention through theme and variation; his "German Motif” paintings of the 1970s tackled major themes of post-war German identity, a subject many considered to be taboo. In the 1980s, Lüpertz used his art to re- examine the importance of narrative in painting while many of his contemporaries were occupied with a then- emerging postmodernism.
Purposefully antiquated Markus Lupertz palette and subject matter consciously employ the residue of the past. For the last 10 years he has been enacting the Latin phrase 'Et in Arcadia Ego' creating contemporary works out of past references. Blurred shapes and dripping motifs from familiar canonical paintings emerge like snapped off historical remnants which re-assembled turn classical pastoral scenes into something new and unfamiliar. Lupertz's ‘Arcadia' is colonised and re-released. The temporal moments of ‘idyll’ are poised between a dissolving past and a future of vital forward motion.
Merging his interest in both art history and narrative, Arcadia is the central theme of Lüpertz’s recent works. He focuses on classical themes as the source for an intense exploration. Borrowing motifs and figures from major paintings by artists like Poussin, Rubens, and Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, and placing them in new landscapes of his own. As art historian Eric Darragon writes, "The Arcadies seem to be the inexhaustible source for countless possible paintings, but one would get lost trying to find a guiding thread. There seem to be an infinite number of permutations and adaptions of relatively few elements. But, beyond the wide variety of examples, one senses a principle of attraction at work, reshaping the form and renewing its power.”