Description: felt-tip pen on paper
Executed in 1968.
Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner circa 1970
New York, Museum of Modern Art; Hamburg, Kunsthalle, Sigmar Polke: Works on Paper 1963 - 1974, 1999, p. 179, no. 282, illustrated in colour
Early Works on Paper by Sigmar Polke from a Private German Collection
Throughout his career, Sigmar Polke's oeuvre has been informed by his capricious spirit and a plurality of artistic voices that subvert and deride the normative canons of artistic production. Nowhere is this more manifest than in the early works on paper dating from Polke's experimental and formative years in Düsseldorf where the early exposure to the Dada and Fluxus movements, coupled with the teachings of Joseph Beuys at the Düsseldorf Academy, provided the intellectual and spiritual climate that nourished Polke's ability to work outside the norm.
The present group of works, hand-selected by the artist for the landmark Sigmar Polke Works on Paper 1963-1974 exhibition in 1999, convey his range of inquiry in these important years. Disarmingly modest and unprepossessing, they reveal the genesis of Polke's ideology and manner. By adopting a seemingly artless vernacular akin to children's drawings or irrational doodlings and by incorporating ballpoint pen and other counter-canonical media, Polke adroitly defies and derides the aesthetic conventions of fine art draftsmanship. Ostensibly innocuous and at times humorous, Polke's disingenuous naivety thinly veils a profound, personal inquiry into the accepted styles and subjects of fine art. The present group, which aptly demonstrates the range of Polke's pointed parody in these early years, reveals the finely distilled critical awareness that is the hallmark of his later oeuvre.
Dimensions: 21 by 14.5cm.; 8 1/4 by 5 3/4 in.
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