The two elderly women nattering away hardly look like inventors. What is more, they seem strangely lost in the pictorial space. The monochrome field of white forms a backdrop reminiscent of Suprematism, probably Russia’s greatest contribution to modern art, though it was soon superseded by the government-dictated figural style. Formally speaking, Martin Kippenberger’s two female inventors have their origins in Socialist Realism. The contrast between the pale, politically motivated figuration and the cheerfully triumphant abstraction is presented here in a tongue-in-cheek manner.
When he presented this painting in 2006, Michael Peters – executive director of the Messe Frankfurt trade fair at the time – recalled: “The encounter with this painting twenty years ago was love at first sight. Its subsequent purchase by the Messe Frankfurt was to trigger the trade-fair corporation’s art-collecting activities. […] It gradually became clear to me that a painting of such relevance should not merely be on display in an office but made accessible to the public. The Messe Frankfurt therefore decided to donate the work by Martin Kippenberger to the Städel Museum.”