Interference paint and acrylic on cardboard 100 x 70 cm. Framed under glass. Signed and dated 'Sigmar Polke 98'. Signed and dated 'Sigmar Polke 98' verso. - With studio and slight traces of age.
Galerie Jürgen Becker, Hamburg (2001); private collection, Northern Germany
One of the most important characteristics of our time is that we are constantly exposed to a flood of images. Digital images, media influences and visual stimuli stream at us unfiltered on a daily basis. Most aspects of our everyday lives are subject to a form of digitalization that is increasingly moving into the realm of falsification or even manipulation. Polke addressed this early on in his practice with his raster images and photographic manipulations of source material. He also explored materiality and the relationship between light and color. The work offered here, from the series of interference pictures, is both the product of a principle of chance and the result of a controlled process. While the light, pearlescent color spreads randomly on the clay paper, different color nuances emerge. However, these are influenced by the movement and alignment of the picture support. "Polke pushed his materials to a point where reason stumbles and things begin to take shape not through the foresight or conscious action of the artist, but through non-rational conditions such as gravity, chance and the associative capacity of the unconscious. No binary system was satisfying, no ideology appealing, no geometry embodied the divine and no truth triumphed. Polke was obsessed with using chance to arrive at less imposed and less sentimental forms of expression; he wanted to free his materials from his control in order to subvert effortlessness and reach beyond what he already knew." (Kathy Halbreich, Alibis, Eine Einführung, in: Kathy Halbreich et al. (eds.), Alibis, Sigmar Polke, 1963-2013, exhib. cat. Museum Ludwig, Cologne and others, Munich 2015, p.72).
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