The exhibition, Hotel Drawings was shown at Marc Jancou’s Gallery London Projects, in 1997, shortly after Martin Kippenberger’s untimely death at the age of 44 that same year.
Over the course of his short career, Kippenberger made hundreds of drawings on hotel stationery, chronicling his extensive travels living across European and American cities. Kippenberger often stayed at hotels for weeks or months at a time, but he also set out to deliberately collect hotel stationery from hotels he didn’t stay at; using this paper as a kind of ‘readymade’ object and a marker of a specific time and place.
Each drawing in this series acts as a discrete work in its own right whilst also reiterating and extending painterly concerns of Kippenberger’s larger output. Imbued with an impulsive vitality, the works reflect the life of an itinerate; the rough-drawn figures and scribbled diaristic thoughts seem to give us a posthumous insight into the artist’s mind.
Kippenberger’s ceaseless and widely varied production came to an abrupt halt when he died of liver cancer in 1997 in Vienna. His hotel drawings offer a unique point of reassessment to the artists’ boundary-pushing and expansive drawing and painting practice.