Artist: Sigmar Polke
Exhibition title: Music from an Unknown Source
Venue: Window Project, Tbilisi, Georgia
Date: July 5 – August 15, 2021
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Window Project, Tbilisi
Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (ifa ) and Window Project present Sigmar Polke’s exhibition-“Music from an Unknown Source”.
In the gouaches of this exhibition, Sigmar Polke (1941-2010) makes the dripping and flowing of paint his theme, originating from the character of the watery gouaches. The controlled and uncontrolled ‘allowing to happen’ of physical phenomena played an important role for Polke. Over the unpredictable flow of paint, the artist lays a regular and predictable screen system as an antipole – something very characteristic of him. Moreover, he gives the pictures titles that sound absurd, which in turn expand what has been presented in them, thus adding a poetic note, and which are exemplary in terms of Polke’s stance as an artist.
Since the early 1960s, Polke worked with the relationship of the reality as contained in a picture and reality itself, the relation between art and daily life. He often took a distanced ironical position, which enabled him to turn his attention – above and beyond issues of content – to the form and the material nature of painting. The exhibition ‘Music from an Unknown Source’ gives insight into an artistic oeuvre which has a singular position in the contemporary art scene of today and belongs among the most significant of the German postwar era.
For the second time within a short period ifa cooperates with the art space Window Project in Tbilisi. Works by Sigmar Polke can be seen, which already attracted great attention in advance.
Sigmar Polke was born on February 13, 1941 in Oels (Silesia). During the Second World War, the family fled to Thuringia and settled in Düsseldorf in 1953. Here Sigmar Polke completed an apprenticeship as a glass painter before studying with Karl Otto Götz and Gerhard Hoehme from 1961–67 at the Düsseldorf Art Academy. While still a student, he and his fellow students Manfred Kuttner, Konrad Lueg and Gerhard Richter organized the first public exhibition under the label Capitalist Realism. The First group and solo exhibitions in galleries in Düsseldorf, Cologne, Berlin, Hanover and others followed, as well as a professorship at the HFBK (1970/71). The 1970s were characterized by a lively exchange with artists and cultural workers on the company’s own Gaspelshof in Willich and in Switzerland, as well as trips abroad (Afghanistan, Pakistan, New York) and international exhibitions (Biennale São Paulo). A first retrospective exhibition of his work was shown in 1976 in Tübingen, Düsseldorf and Eindhoven. His extensive artistic experience includes painting, and graphic!, photography, film, objects. In 1978 Sigmar Polke moved to Cologne, where he lived and worked until his death on June 10, 2010.