Martin Kippenberger: Hotel Drawings and The Happy End of Franz Kafka’s “America”

September 10 – November 5, 2000

Martin Kippenberger (1953–1997) was one of the most complex and prolific German artists of his generation.

Kippenberger took the artists, the art world, contemporary society, and the self for subject matter, and his work offers contradictory impressions of these subjects: at once absurd, hopeful, tragic, charming and bleak. In a special collaboration, the Smart Museum of Art and the Renaissance Society presented two distinct facets of his work: a series of drawings on hotel stationery and a huge, complex sculptural installation. The Smart Museum gathered approximately 200 of Kippenberger's "hotel drawings" (1987–1997) from private collections in Europe and the United States. Called an "autobiography in sketches," this series of drawings on hotel stationery includes doodle-like drawings, highly finished compositions, and sketches that relate to his paintings, sculptures, and installations.

Related publication
An artist’s book, No Drawing No Cry, was published by Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König on the occasion of the exhibition.