Sigmar Polke: A Selling Exhibition from an Important American Collection 1967 – 2000

27 Feb 2015 – 13 Mar 2015

Event times

Monday - Saturday: 10am - 6pm
Sunday: 12pm - 6pm

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Cost of entry

Admission Free

London, United Kingdom


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Sigmar Polke: A Selling Exhibition from an Important American Collection 1967 – 2000, on view in London from 27 February to 13 March. The travelling exhibition of 39 prints and one multiple, Apparatus Whereby One Potato Can Orbit Another will be on view at 30 Berkeley Square in London before travelling to the Phillips exhibition space on Kurfürstendamm in Berlin.


A daring and irreverent artist, Sigmar Polke is considered one of the most important and influential German artists of the 20th century. His art both typifies and transcends his time, mixing Dada with Pop, the playful with the ironic, and elements of 60’s psychedelia with commercial culture. He is famous for his democratic use of materials and sources, pulling wildly varied mediums such as gold leaf, newspaper clippings, pigment extracted from snails and meteorite dust together in a frenetic array of work. The 40 editioned works for sale offer a window into the mind of the artist that the New York Times called “a social critic, a moralist and something of a mystic.”

The most notable multiple for sale is Apparat, mit dem eine Kartoffel eine andera umkreisen kann/Apparatus Whereby One Potato Can Orbit Another, 1969. This rare and lighthearted apparatus is comprised of a modified wooden stool, batterydriven electric motor, rubber band, wire, and two replaceable potatoes, and was produced in a small edition of 30.

Other examples from this edition are kept in prestigious museum collections, including one at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis and another which was recently part of Alibis: Sigmar Polke 1963–2010 a retrospective on the artist at the Tate Modern in London.

Polke was a voracious printmaker, working in a variety of mediums and formats, from offset lithography to screenprint and collage. He combined scraps of pop-culture with offset lithography in many works, including in the seminal Freundinnen I/Girlfriends I, 1967, which renders in blown-up raster - or dot pattern - a provocative newspaper ad of two modern women posing in swimsuits. He used this exaggerated raster throughout his career and specifically as late as 1999 in Experiment I, II, III and IV, a series of color screenprints offered here as the complete set of four.

Another irreverent work comprised of repurposed everyday materials is Sechs Richtige/Six Correct, 1995. This piece, composed of red felt-tip pen on mesh, is unique in that each example in the edition of 30 has marks in different places. S.H. Oder die Liebe Zum Stoff/S.H. or the Love of Fabric, 2000 is a print of an image of fingers turning a key, attached to a heartshaped charm, screenprinted in unique colours onto a table cloth patterned with Euro currency.

Polke often employed his own photography both as medium and source in his work, beautifully exemplified in Ohne Titel (Medium Fotografie), 1984. This unique black and white photograph depicts a mysterious form resembling a bunny in a windowsill, and was an important contribution to the photographic portfolio Medium Fotografie. Each example from the edition of 21 is a  unique print, varying in composition and effect. A series of the artist’s photographs of the model Mariette Althaus, translated into offset  lithographs in Weekend I, II, and III, 1971-72 is also offered as the complete set of three.

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