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Markus Lüpertz’s employment of motifs like Wehrmacht helmets and officer’s caps in the canvases Of 1970 1974 caused a furore.
One such work was Helmets Sinking (Dithyrombic).
It stood at the beginning of the artist’s involvement with German motifs, which culminated and came to a close in 1974 with the painting Black Red Gold (Dithyrombic).
Es gibt keine bildende Kunst, die nicht irgendwann einmal in einem Tempel zuhause war. Jeder Säulenstumpf ist der Anfang eines Baumes von Munch, und der wiederum der Arm bei Beckmann.
These Dithyrambic paintings were inspired by Lüpertz’s reading of Friedrich Nietzche’s Dionysian poetry. A dithyramb is an ancient Greek hymn sung and danced in honor of Dionysus, the god of wine and fertility. As an adjective dithyrambic has come to mean, “wildly enthusiastic”. Lüpertz’s works from this period give form to this never-ending intoxication — works he once described as “imposing construction on already existing objects”.
Markus Lüpertz exhibited a new body of work entitled Pastoral Thoughts at the Michael Werner gallery in New York City. According to the brochure, these are “New works by the celebrated and controversial German artist [which] explore themes of history and abstraction in paintings derived from landscape motifs.” The exhibition was labeled: “is the artist’s first major New York showing since 2005,” and was accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue.