A great artist and his passion – hunting. Markus Lüpertz is a painter, sculptor, musician, and poet – in short: an artistic genius. His works are much sought-after by collectors worldwide, and his exhibitions are visited by countless art enthusiasts. Aside from his artistic work, he dedicates his time to his extraordinary passion for hunting. We visited Markus Lüpertz in his studio near Berlin.

Markus Lüpertz was born in the Bohemian town of Liberec in 1941 and grew up in Rheydt in the Rhineland. He is one of Germany’s most famous contemporary artists. His sculptures and often large-sized paintings exude an archaic, moving power. According to artnet.de, beside his intense concentration on Greek mythology, Markus Lüpertz’s greatest theme is the critical engagement with German history. By order of the Church Lüpertz has also designed several glass windows, for example in Lübeck, Landsberg and Nevers. His sculptures can be seen in many prominent locations, such as the Federal Chancellery in Berlin, the park of Bensberg Palace, Kantstraße in Berlin as well as in Salzburg. Lüpertz has also published several volumes of poetry, and he gives Jazz concerts. He has received many prizes and awards and lives as well as works in Düsseldorf, Karlsruhe and near Berlin. He also carries out an extensive teaching assignment. In 1974 he accepted the professorship for painiting at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe and was director of the Arts Academy of the city of Düsseldorf for more than 20 years.

Markus Lüpertz has been a passionate hunter for many years now. “What fascinates me about hunting is that it is ancient, it is an instinct that I indulge in,” Lüpertz says. For him hunting also has a lot to do with beauty, mechanics and aesthetics as well as with discipline and rituals. A few years ago the 77-year-old artist had the idea of designing his own cartridge. He put this idea into practice together with his friend Claus Otterbein, who he has known for 40 years and shares a hunting ground with in Brandenburg. It wasn’t hard to find a working title. “All my projects and ideas that are not developed in the studio are called ‘Hölderlin’,” the artist says.

The gunsmith Torsten Retz in Suhl has an open ear for the wishes of Lüpertz and Otterbein, who have quite precise ideas about what their “Hölderlin” should look like. For Lüpertz aesthetics and elegance are paramount, whereas Otterbein places more importance on classic design and high functionality. This is enough motivation for Torsten Retz to use only the best materials for the construction of the “Hölderlin”. In the neighbouring town of Schleusingen Eik Hartleb, engraver out of pure passion, takes care of the artistic finish with a perfect hand engraving.

The Hölderlin calibre .375 can be used universally according to load and bullet. Apart from his choice of cartridge and rifle Markus Lüpertz also places great value on the quality and perfection of the optics he uses when hunting. But this was not the only reason for us to visit the great artist in his studio near Berlin and to talk to him about art and hunting.

Photos: Michael Agel

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