They often commented slyly on the nature of taste, as in the pairing here of a cheaply framed painting of flowers with a kitschy planter of ivy. In this exhibition we will be placing several graphic works made on the basis of photographs from the same time in a dialogue with one another. That anarchic material then served him as a basis for multifaceted manipulations undertaken in his laboratory, where he used multi-exposure, reverse effects, superimpositions or solarisation. Polke made extensive use of recreational drugs. By developing a print while exposing it to a negative, he could work in a spontaneous, intuitive manner that involved the complex layering of images. At times Polke placed two negatives in the enlarger to introduce context and narrative into the final layered image. Polke did not conceive of the hundred or so photographs he made as a cohesive suite when he shot them, though selections were subsequently published as such in conjunction with gallery exhibitions in Germany and New York.
Many of these photographs feature masquerade scenes: friends in clown-like get-ups, and Polke himself spontaneously captured on film. In all these ways he opened the door to a freewheeling combination of representation and abstraction that is still playing out. These photographs, most of which are being exhibited for the first time, belong to Georg Polke and show Sigmar Polke as one of the protagonists of the Rhineland art scene and at the same time a shrewd chronicler of his time with a very particular sense of humour. Polke studied painting at the Dsseldorf Kunstakademie, and in the lean years after his 1968 graduation, made thousands of images on that system. Polke also created the most painterly photograph in his oeuvre, Composition, in 1982. Sigmar Polke 13 February 1941 — 10 June 2010 was a German painter and photographer.
Polke made three different types of prints from these negatives. In addition, he printed the photographs so that the chemical residue of the development process left inconsistent stains—in some areas, the staining is so dense as to nearly obliterate the image. In photographs, he often appeared to be on the verge of laughter; small, gleaming eyes behind wire-framed glasses and a sharp V of eyebrows added a sardonic if not demonic note. With an unusual attention to craft and materiality, the artist painted the architectural and figurative elements in tones of orange, red, blue, green, purple, and turquoise. Polke lived there or in nearby Cologne for the rest of his life. Polke was often fittingly called an alchemist.
Throughout his prolific career, Polke challenged the limits of his subject matter and materials in a rigorously inventive investigation of image-making and perception. Later, he would look to nature itself for representations that expressed altered states of being. He invented artful errors that heighten the atmospheric intensity and painterly richness of the photographic prints. Yet, in this exchange of internal experience for external focus, Polke gave up none of his fierce search for the immortal. In this image, Polke used double exposure to embed the two gleaming faucets among shoppers carrying umbrellas as they navigate a flooded street.
For the second, Polke printed each of his photographic negatives of opium dens on top of one of an indeterminate subject of great density, a process that endowed the resulting images with a hazy darkness that conjures the mysterious and seductive atmosphere of his subjects. Unpredictable behavior was his norm, elusiveness his everyday mode, and provocative answers a matter of course. Fractured, incoherent, multifaceted, and kaleidoscopically layered, the resulting photographs have been compared with the Cubist reconceptualization of time and space as simultaneous rather than linear; they also reflect certain characteristics of Futurism in this respect. Düsseldorf, 1969 © Sigmar Polke Close-ups and Double Exposures Polke's use of the close-up directs our attention to those details that fascinated him most, such as the arch of the chrome faucets seen here. Lueg would later change his name and become the Düsseldorf art dealer Konrad Fischer and would give Mr.
Tall, with a commanding presence and caustic wit, Mr. In the last 20 years of his life, he produced paintings focused on historical events and perceptions of them. I can mix with it. Polke, along with painters like Mr. He invented artful errors that heighten the atmospheric intensity and painterly richness of the photographic prints.
He used trays smaller than the photographic paper to print these images, requiring the paper to be folded between five and seven times to fit. By 1960, its commercial galleries had held solo shows of Rauschenberg and Cy Twombly and it became a meeting place for Fluxus artists like Nam June Paik and George Maciunas starting in 1962. These photographs, most of which are being exhibited for the first time, belong to Georg Polke and show Sigmar Polke as one of the protagonists of the Rhineland art scene and at the same time a shrewd chronicler of his time with a very particular sense of humour. In making Der Bärenkampf, Polke found in the life of the people a metaphor for the political realities of a particular time and place; here, the bear can be read as a symbol of Russia, while the dogs represent Afghanistan. Finally, Polke collaged on a series of four abstracted, postcard-size photographs and one picture of two people looking at an abstract painting hanging on a wall, setting up a dialogue between abstract and representational forms, a basic theme in his photographic work. Mushrooms were a frequent motif in his paintings and photographs.
Düsseldorf provided an excellent environment for a budding artist; it was the site of the first postwar exhibition of Dada in 1958. In numerous photographs the artist focussed on his personal environment: at home, initially in Dusseldorf, then as of 1972 in the Gaspelshof in Willich, later in Cologne, at exhibition openings and during his travels. I can make with it. In contrast to his chemical manipulations of the 1970s, the artist did not obscure the image through overexposure; instead, the exposure was so light, or the developer was applied for such a short period, that the image all but disappeared beneath the drips and spills of chemicals poured onto the curled photographic paper. There, he captured images of opium dens that ultimately became some of the most visually exquisite and carefully crafted photographs in his entire oeuvre. In 1959 and 1960, Mr. While there, he photographed and filmed a bear fight, a blood sport in which a bear is pitted against two or more dogs in a makeshift arena, under the provocation of their human trainers.
Some time ago, the Lambrecht-Schadeberg Collection acquired a group of photographs by Rubens Prize winner Sigmar Polke 1941-2010. Polke turned to the works of Antonin Artaud as the inspiration for one of his most personally revealing photographs of the 1980s: Artaud: Zwei kleine Zeichnungen Artaud: Two Small Drawings, 1982. His work was to go through a significant transformation during the 1980s, characterized by more experiments in the studio and darkroom and as well as self-imposed isolation from the community of artists that had figured in his earlier artistic milieu. His photographs reached a similar level of complexity when he combined both negatives and positives with images that had both vertical and horizontal orientations. This dialectic reflects his belief in the innate need of the spectator to read, decipher, and project recognizable content onto the most abstracted of compositions. With a slight of hand, Polke glossed over the borders between photography and painting, original and reproduction.
When one dealer asked Mr. They indicate how closely Polke linked the different artistic media, how they mutually pervade and enrich one another in his oeuvre. With their juxtaposed images, multiple exposures, extreme close-ups, and under- and over-exposures, these photographs demonstrate the artist's early fascination and experimentation with photography. In the 1960s he experimented with the interaction of fruit and vegetable juices. The result are images that humorously fracture the everyday and grant the trivial a mysterious aura.