Lüpertz sees himself as painter-sculptor. Painting is the origin for his reflections upon sculpture. To Lüpertz, the sculptural challenge lies in the departure from the imaginary three-dimensional space of painting in order to face the possibilities and limits of plastic art. Even more than in his painting, in his sculpture Lüpertz reduces action and movement as far as possible. In precisely this way the sculpture’s ambiguity is conserved. Since the mid-eighties Lüpertz has created a wide-ranging repertoire of large-scale single figures, in which he often ironically plays with ideals of classical beauty and traditional motifs. Even though formal principles of cubism may be discerned in it, his work is basically about the traces of the made, the artefact. Lüpertz, one of today’s most renowned German artists, was appointed head of the Düsseldorf Academy of Arts in 1988.
Since the 1980s, Markus Lüpertz has been creating large format, painted bronze figures alongside his paintings. In so doing, he remains always a painter, despite what in the meantime has become an impressive number of sculptures. His understanding of form conceives of the figure not from volume, but from the surface. For the execution of his figures, he chooses the traditional material, bronze. The monumental figure shown in the exhibition takes its inspiration from the classical canon of forms. Armless (as the title suggests) and with even facial contours, it is reminiscent of Greek classical sculpture. Its name as well, Paris, refers to classical mythology. It is simultaneously archaic and monumental, abstract and mythical. One can feel an enormous formal drive that creates in its over-sized character a striking expressivity.
Penck, A. R.