In 1961, Sigmar Polke and Gerhard Richter enrolled in the Art Academy in Düsseldorf, to be followed in 1962 by Blinky Palermo. Each student had found their way to the renowned art school from various areas of East Germany and within the first years at the academy, productive and competitive friendships would be formed and collaborations, taking on various shapes, would emerge. This exhibition will present a selection of paintings, which demonstrate the formal and thematic interests of this highly influential artistic group as they grappled with the dominance of the American Pop movement and their own German cultural inheritance.
In the early years of the 1960s, Polke's and Richter's growing dissatisfaction with the predominating style of the academy of Art Informel, motivated them to seek other sources. A 1963 visit to Paris, where they discovered the work of Roy Lichtenstein, set the stage for their own very individual explorations of popular culture and problems of style. It was Lichtenstein's anti-painterly technique, one devoid of the artist's hand, which would influence the work Polke and Richter both on a practical and conceptual level.