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  • Provenance

    Barbara Guggenheim Associates, New York

  • Catalogue Essay

    Undoubtedly one of the most acclaimed artist of the twentieth century, Sigmar Polke’s appetite for experimentation lead him to cross all artistic genres and defy standard categorisation. His inventive works amalgamated differences such as the heroic and the banal, figuration and abstraction and high and low culture in an attempt to successfully destabilise conventional distinctions.

    Untitled, 1973 is a splendid work which marks Polke’s new investigational project during the seventies, in which he indulged in hallucinogenic drugs such as mushrooms, LSD and opium. Polke found that painting under the influence of drugs allowed for a heightened visual perspective which he sought to test out. During this time, the artist also travelled a lot to fulfil his passion for exotic experiences. This passion of his is reflected in this particular work with its layering between abstraction and figuration, giving it an overall dreamlike and tropical feel. Furthermore, the random coloured patterns simultaneously hide and uncover the sexualised figures. For instance, the phallus of the male figure is both concealed and encircled. Pink circles which resemble breasts appear to be floating around further accentuating the senses which emerge as a result of hallucination.

    The present lot is a characteristic product of his drug experimentation. Captivated by psychedelic effects, Polke takes the viewer on a hallucinated trip by presenting us with an image of altered reality.

140

Untitled

1973
ink, acrylic, and watercolor on paper
99.1 x 69.9 cm (39 x 27 1/2 in.)
Signed and dated 'Sigmar Polke 73' lower right and stamped.

Estimate
£100,000 - 150,000 ‡ ♠

Sold for £110,500

Contact Specialist
Henry Highley
Head of Sale
+ 44 20 7318 4061

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

London Auction 10 February 2016 2pm