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 influential and voraciously experimental artists of the twentieth century. From painting to photography. film, 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 conflate photography, drawing and painting. In “Graphite painting with loops after 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 often 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.