Sigmar Polke - Untitled

Sigmar Polke - Untitled - image-1
Sigmar Polke - Untitled - image-1

Sigmar Polke


Mixed media on paper. 69.5 x 99.5 cm. Framed under glass. Signed and dated 'S.Polke 83'. - Traces of studio.

In a pose which is as relaxed as it is provocative, the lightly clothed woman leans on a type of ledge with her back to the viewer. With her contours outlined, almost as if a sketch, in quick, black brushstrokes, Polke silhouettes her against the indefinable space in the picture.
This work is typical of the stylistic change which took place in Polke's works of the early 1980s. Instead of the humorously ironical pictoral comments based on the figurative, his interest in, and experimental approach to colour moved increasingly to the fore. Polke developed an enormous level of creativity with the combination of various materials, earning him the nickname 'the alchemist'. With the reduction in the figural depiction to that of a silhouette, the present work is as typical of such a phase of work as the experimental and material-led character of the execution: Polke applied the picture ground with various colour materials, using various brushstrokes, thereby consciously avoiding an overly harmonious composition. Polke's complete oeuvre was concerned, to differing degrees, with sexually laden images; one prominent example of his passion for provocation are the 50 'Porno-Gouaches' which the artist offered as a special edition to the Westfälischen Kunstverein in Münster in 1973. Some of the depictions are very explicit, but they are united at the same time so successfully by their colours and embedded in the lively compositions, that the graphicness is muted. With the present gouache Polke is emphasizing the crude, and in principle unerotic image, and with it he succeeds, in his typical ironical style, in producing a tongue-in-cheek parody of the classical nude painting.


We would like to thank the estate of Sigmar Polke, Cologne, for the helpful information.


Galerie Schmela, Düsseldorf; private collection, North Rine-Westphalia

Lot 786 D

70.000 € - 90.000 €

158.600 €