Florentiner Sommer (Florentine Summer) is an ambiguous picture that blurs the distinction between abstraction and representation. The clear colour fields and lines indicate a figurative reproduction of an object that is reminiscent of a camouflage blanket; an impression that is supported by the earthy tones and military pattern. Still, the distorted combination of shapes creates an image that is sufficiently abstract and chaotic to make us doubt its realistic expression.
A ‘dithyrambic’ picture
This principal piece is associated with Lüpertz’s ‘dithyrambic’ pieces. This term from ancient Greece describes lyrical exuberance and has been used by Lüpertz to describe the role of spontaneous improvisation in his artistic practice. The result is a liberated mix of several styles, where the meaning and significance of the individual piece arise through the viewer’s personal reflections.
The topics in Lüpertz’s art are thus not identical with a certain message or theme but instead aim to inspire open interpretations of a stylistically diffuse picture. According to the artist himself, the painting itself is the artistic content.
As part of the celebration of the Danish-German Year of Cultural Friendship, Lüpertz was featured at Museum Jorn in the spring of 2020 in a large exhibition of more than 90 works of art. Among other topics, the exhibition portrayed his position in art history in relation to the museum’s main profiles, Asger Jorn and Per Kirkeby. On this basis, both the Augustinus Foundation and the New Carlsberg Foundation found it important to support this acquisition, which also reflects aesthetic and thematic similarities between the three artists.
Lüpertz’s personal donation to Museum Jorn includes 52 works of art: an oil painting, 11 wax sculptures and 40 drawings. The painting Dürers Garten – Inferno 1 (Dürer’s Garden – Inferno 1) (2001) was presented as part of the above-mentioned exhibition. Lüpertz also gave the museum permission to make a cast of his bronze sculpture Judith, which was prodocued in three copies in 1995, one of which was also included in the 2020 exhibition. The collection offers insight into Lüpertz’s artistic work and expression over the past half a century.
Three of the pieces are currently on display at the museum along with Florentiner Sommer. The remaining pieces are expected to be shown during 2021.
About the artist
Markus Lüpertz (b. 1941) is one of the most significant exponents of German post-war avant-garde, which remains a significant source of influence on contemporary art. From 1956 to 1961, Lüpertz attended both Werkkunstschule Krefeld (Krefeld School of Arts and Crafts) and Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (Düsseldorf Art Academy), where he was appointed rector in 1987. He is represented museums the world over and has exhibited in prominent exhibition venues, such as Haus der Kunst (House of Art) and Documenta 7.