German Green Party Fights Markus Lüpertz’s Proposed Creation Story Mural

The party wants public artworks that depict the city as 'modern.'

Markus Lüpertz at his retrospective at the ZKM in Karlsruhe. ©ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medien Karlsruhe, Photo by Felix Grünschloß.

A proposal by renowned German artist Markus Lüpertz for a multi-part public mural depicting the creation story is being met with resistance from the Green Party in the German city of Karlsruhe.

The work would be spread across seven underground tram stations in the southwest German city set for completion in 2020, but the environmentalist political party has a few problems with the idea, according to local source ka-news.

One of their qualms is that the artwork does not fit with the planned design of the stations. Ute Leidig, chairwoman of the Karlsruhe Green Party, points out that the winning proposal for the stations’ design from 2004 included artworks in the form of colorful light installations—presumably more unassuming than an illustrated bible story.

The Green Party also points out that Lüpertz’s grand mural would reduce space for advertising, potentially costing the city money.

Markus Luepertz karlsruhe

Markus Lüpertz, Landschaft (1997). ©VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2016,
Photo by Olaf Bergmann, Witten.

Further, they aren’t happy with the lack of public discussion surrounding the proposal, and are currently carrying out a competition to consider other projects.

While they don’t oppose works of public art in the stations in general, they do request some stipulations: the new installation should be temporary, fit within the overall design concept of the stations, and emphasize Karlsruhe as a modern city.

On April 28, the Badische Neueste Nachrichten reported that the work was to total 14 reliefs depicting the seven days of Genesis, and that a plan was already well underway, including raising half of the roughly €1-million production cost.

Various art institutions in the city, including ZKM, the Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe—which currently has a retrospective of Lüpertz’s work on view—are reportedly potential partners of the Green Party in its crusade to rethink Karlsruhe’s public art.

Peter Weibel, the chairman and CEO of ZKM, gave artnet News the following statement: “The Green Party has launched a culturally and democratically relevant debate about the project and possible alternative that the cultural institutions in Karlsruhe will follow with interest.”

Ute Leidig of the Green Party did not immediately return artnet News’ request for comment.

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