Press | Phillips

07 July 2014

NY Sigmar Polke


VIEWING: July 7-August 8, 2014
LOCATION: 450 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10022

NEW YORK – 10 July 2014 – Phillips is pleased to present Sigmar Polke: A Selling Exhibition of 54 Prints and 1 Multiple (Apparatus Whereby One Potato Can Orbit Another) from an Important American Collection 1967 – 2000, at 450 Park Avenue in New York City on view from July 7 through August 8, 2014.

A daring and irreverent artist, Sigmar Polke is regarded as one of the most important and influential German artists of the 20th century. His art at once typifies and transcends his time, mixing Dada with Pop, playful with ironic, and elements of 60’s psychedelia with commercial culture. He is famous for his unprejudiced 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 55 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.”

Polke was a voracious printmaker, working in a variety of mediums and formats, from offset lithography to multiples and screenprint. 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.

Polke often employed his own photography both as medium and source, 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 affects. 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.

The singular 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, battery-driven 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 Tate, London and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. 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 that is attached to a heart-shaped charm, screenprinted in unique colors atop a printed tablecloth, in this example, a pattern of Euro currency.

Polke said of his art making: “There has to be an element of risk-taking for me in my work.” This show is consequently boldly presented and displayed in chronological order, issued with a newspaper fold-out catalogue, and decorated in Polka dots. A time capsule of the late twentieth century, with a freshness and strangeness that holds true decades later, this exciting show demands to be seen and collected.

“Sigmar Polke: A Selling Exhibition of 54 Prints and 1 Multiple (Apparatus Whereby One Potato Can Orbit Another) from an Important American Collection 1967 – 2000” will be on view July 7- August 8 at Phillips, 450 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10022 M-F from 10am-6pm Sat 10am-6pm and Sun 12-6pm.

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