Sigmar Polke

Kunstwerk der Woche

, 2002
  • Material
    Offset lithograph, screenprint and collage on cardboard
  • Edition Size
  • Measurement
    60 x 80 cm / 24 x 32 inch
    Edition 70 + XX
    signed, dated and numbered
  • Details about the frame
    Handcrafted rosewood, waxed maple wood frame incl. 10mm spacer strip, dimensions approx. 63.0 x 83.0 cm, incl. normal glass and rear suspension
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About the Edition

Art? Just one product among many! Sigmar Polke once again symbolized his critical distance towards his own guild in his signed edition “Artwork of the Week” from 2002. The title reflects his typical laconic wit. Polke took it from a newspaper clipping showing the sculpture of a javelin thrower, a classic motif from ancient art. The casually thrown copy next to it allows for various interpretations: the dissociation from the traditional understanding of art, one's own involvement in art history and the chutzpah with which Polke uses it. Snippets from an advertising booklet for gold jewelry make the collage and Polke's art market criticism perfect. The nice thing: The immaterial value of a work of art is still in the eye of those who look at it - sometimes actually synonymous with those who own it.

About the Artist

Sigmar Polke's (1941-2010) artistic career began at the age of six. He painted a bomber with swastikas raining down from its belly. He was a war child – like his artist friend Gerhard Richter, and like Richter he had fled East Germany to the West. The two met at the Düsseldorf Art Academy and proclaimed “Capitalist Realism”, in contrast to the dictum in East Germany. They drew attention to themselves early on, but Sigmar Polke became world famous above all with a painting from 1969: "Higher beings commanded: paint the upper right corner black!" The request is on the white canvas - except for the black corner - in typewriter type written down.

The irony was inherent to Sigmar Polke, as was his rebellion against the exaggeration of artistic creativity or against the art world - even if he himself later rose to become one of the best-selling German artists. The curator Harald Szeemann invited him to the Documenta in 1972. Polke was then also present at Documenta 6 and 7. He then exhibited in all major museums, including the Lenbachhaus in Munich, the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Center Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Martin Gropius Bau in Berlin. In 1986 Sigmar Polke received the Golden Lion for the German Pavilion at the Venice Biennale and in 2002 the Praemium Imperiale in Tokyo - two of his numerous awards.

Latest Exhibitions (Selection)

Sigmar Polke's work has been shown nationally and internationally since the early 1960s. As recently as 2016, for example, his works were represented in the group exhibition “Behind the Curtain” at the Museum Kunstpalast in Düsseldorf, in 2017 the Museum Frieder Burda in Baden-Baden presented the solo show “Alchemy and Arabesque” and in a few weeks the exhibition “Productive Image Disorder. Sigmar Polke and Current Artistic Positions” in the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, which takes Polke's outstanding importance into account.

An overview of his extensive, decades-long exhibition activity can be found here

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