Sigmar Polke

b. 1941, Oleśnica, Poland. d. 2010, Cologne, Germany

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Sigmar Polke, Puppe, 1965
Sigmar Polke, Puppe, 1965

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As one of the most significant artists of his generation, Sigmar Polke produced a vast body of work that was consistently experimental and artistically diverse. Although ostensibly a painter, Polke worked with a great variety of materials and techniques to push the boundaries of his practice. His work is often a playful critique of the iconography of consumerism, characterized by a sense of parody and an acute wit. Some of his most seminal works involved inflating newspaper print imagery to the point of abstraction, blurring the line between high art and popular culture. These subversive strategies continued throughout his prolific career, including the use of chemicals to dematerialise the traditional canvas, and confrontation with difficult histories such as colonialism and nationalism.