Basel Online: 15 Rooms - Basel Online: 15 Rooms - Sigmar Polke | David Zwirner
A detail from a painting by Sigmar Polke, titled Ohne Titel (Untitled), dated 1965.
Sigmar Polke
A photo of Sigmar Polke in the countryside with some cows in the background.

Sigmar Polke in the Eifel Mountains of Western Germany, 1993. Photo by AVN

Sigmar Polke in the Eifel Mountains of Western Germany, 1993. Photo by AVN

Characterized by an experimental approach to a wide variety of styles and subject matter, Sigmar Polke’s (1941–2010) work uses diverse materials and techniques, as well as ironic and humorous imagery, as strategies of social, political, and aesthetic critique. In his capitalist realist works of the early 1960s, Polke addressed postwar West German capitalist culture through a uniquely political brand of pop art that depicts readily available consumer and petit-bourgeois imagery.

 

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A painting by Sigmar Polke, titled Ohne Titel (Untitled), dated 1965.

Sigmar Polke

Ohne Titel (Untitled), 1965
Oil on printed fabric
35 1/2 x 29 1/2 inches
90.2 x 74.9 cm
Ohne Titel (Untitled) was acquired by the visionary New York-based collectors Emily and Jerry Spiegel in 1988 and has remained in their family’s collection since. The Spiegels were early champions of Sigmar Polke’s work in the United States, and their collection comprised significant works by Polke, as well as artists such as Georg Baselitz, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Philip Guston, Donald Judd, Jeff Koons, Brice Marden, Palermo, Francis Picabia, Gerhard Richter, Robert Ryman, and Andy Warhol.
The painting was included in the 1988 show Aspects of Collage, Assemblage and the Found Object in Twentieth-Century Art, at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.
A painting by Sigmar Polke, titled Moderne Kunst, dated 1968.

Sigmar Polke, Moderne Kunst (Modern Art), 1968

Sigmar Polke, Moderne Kunst (Modern Art), 1968

A work by Sigmar Polke, titled Palme auf Autostoff (Palm Tree on Fabric with Cars), dated 1969.

Sigmar Polke, Palme auf Autostoff (Palm Tree on Fabric with Cars), 1969

Sigmar Polke, Palme auf Autostoff (Palm Tree on Fabric with Cars), 1969

Polke’s paintings frequently interrogate aesthetic conventions. The present work is among the first of his paintings to address the theme of modernist abstraction in his signature layered, tongue-in-cheek approach to the history of art.
Painted directly onto children’s fabric printed with Native American motifs, this work is one of the earliest examples of Polke’s use of readymade, commercially produced fabric. The painting speaks to a postwar fascination with the mythology of the American West and its representation in Hollywood Westerns.
An installation view of a painting by Sigmar Polke, titled Ohne Titel (Untitled), dated 1965.

Sigmar Polke, Ohne Titel (Untitled), 1965

Sigmar Polke, Ohne Titel (Untitled), 1965

A black and white photo of Sigmar Polke and three other artists sitting smoking outside an exhibition.

Konrad Lueg, Sigmar Polke, Blinky Palermo, and Gerhard Richter in front of Galerie Heiner Friedrich, Cologne, 1967. Photo by Thordis Moeller

Konrad Lueg, Sigmar Polke, Blinky Palermo, and Gerhard Richter in front of Galerie Heiner Friedrich, Cologne, 1967. Photo by Thordis Moeller


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