We are proud to present an exhibition of works by Sigmar Polke. The show covers the artist’s early experimentation on canvas, as well as more recent works on prepared black, large-scale paper. This exhibition marks our second collaboration with Michael Werner Gallery, New York.

Sigmar Polke (German, 1941–2010) was one of the most infuential and voraciously experimental artists of the twentieth century. From painting to photography and lm to installations and prints, Polke disregarded artistic traditions and relied on a broad range of methods and mediums to pursue the endless pictorial possibilities of experimentation.

From borrowed images to chemical reactions, canvas, fabrics and black papers, Polke consistently sought to con ate photography, drawing and painting. In “Graphite painting with loops a er Dürer,” he borrowed Dürer’s decorative elements and projected them over rubbings of silver oxide and graphite dust on the canvas, creating a nebulous background, a manifold space, as well as a comment on Renaissance and Modernist painting.
Polke o en exploited the regular dot patterns, using at times a combination of stencils and spray guns to imitate mechanical methods. Print-based imagery appears layered, transferred and blown up into constellations. Following Polke’s fascination with the relationship between abstract and figurative art, these images clearly refer to the original source, but they are meticulously painted by hand to accentuate or remap the errors and details.

In the 1980s, Polke returned to painting with an alchemical study of artistic mediums and methods. In his “pour paintings,” fluid tributaries unfold forms onto dark monochrome backgrounds and powdered minerals suspended in the lacquers and resins subject the paintings to change over time. In these works, Polke turns once again to the transformative potential of materials, both physical and metaphorical, to exist independently from the strictures of artistic convention.

Sigmar Polke (1941-2010) is widely recognized for his multidisciplinary output of paintings, photographs, drawings, prints, objects, installations, and films. Characterized by a relentlessly experimental and inquisitive approach to a wide variety of styles and subject matter, the artist’s work engages unconventional materials and techniques, and playfully defies social, political, and aesthetic conventions. Throughout his prolific career, Polke challenged the limits of his subject matter and materials in a rigorously inventive investigation of image-making and perception.

His work has been the subject of retrospective exhibitions at numerous institutions, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 1991; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 1996; Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, 1997–98; Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1999; Tate Modern, London, 2003–4; and at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and Tate Modern, London, in 2014.