‘It is certainly easy to regard Martin Kippenberger as one of the greatest performers and self-promoters among German artists of the 1980s and 1990s, but that will do him justice only in part. Yet even the attempt to describe Kippenberger’s cosmos in all its complexity will necessarily fail. Like no other, he embodies the image of the 'typical artist,’ unlike anyone does he live an inseparable symbiosis of life and art production – in all its intensity and with all its ramifications. His work, based on permanent introspection, does not shy away from failure, disruption and great risks, and still provides impulses and inspiration today.
All of his works are self-portraits in the broadest sense; they say something about him, his life situation, his environment – even those that do not actually depict him. His art is complex, varied, autobiographical and self-reflexive; it appropriates, quotes and deconstructs before it constructs something new that refers back to whatever came before. For Kippenberger, relinquishing his authorship, or handwriting, is already from an early age a logical consequence of his thinking and acting, since it indeed opens up a wide range of possibilities – above all the establishment of his own reference system – within the art production. The radicalism that characterizes this approach unfolds a spectrum of options and calls into question everything that has existed thus far – originality, authorship, value, and also “postmodern knowledge.” Kippenberger performs this critique intuitively and even ventures beyond it: the one great narrative is abandoned in favor of many options'.
S. Kleine, ‘Cosmos Kippenberger’, in Martin Kippenberger: BITTESCHÖN DANKESCHÖN, exh. cat., Bonn: Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, 2019, p. 27