Informed by Travel, Sigmar Polke Painted Playful Journeys
In 1980, the German artist Sigmar Polke traveled the world, from Indonesia to Tasmania to Thailand. The trip informed Polke's subsequent work—his use of unconventional materials and brilliant, sometimes chemically toxic, colors. Now the David Zwirner Gallery is presenting a show, "Eine Winterreise (Winter Journey)," that focuses on the theme of travel in Polke's work, from his playful take on 1960s tourist scenes to his layered paintings from the 1980s that explore intellectual as well as physical journeys.
The exhibition, at Zwirner's West 20th Street location, is the first since the gallery announced last fall that it had taken on representation of the Polke estate. (Polke died in 2010.)
Curated by Vicente Todolí, the show includes large-scale paintings—like "Magnetische Landschaft (Magnetic Landscape)," an abstract mountainscape from 1982, and the "Lappländische Reise (Lapland Journey)" series from 1984—as well as experimental films documenting Polke's experiences.