Sigmar Polke - Untitled (19 Fox)
Untitled (19 Fox)
Gouache and spray paint on paper under overpainted plexi glass in overpainted clip-on frame. 72 x 102 cm. Framed under plexiglass. Signed 'S. Polke' on the paper. Signed and inscribed 'S. Polke 19 FOX' verso on frame. - Traces of studio.
In his article “Was man nicht sieht” (What one doesn't see) on the work of Sigmar Polke, the art historian and exhibition organiser Rudi Fuchs points out that “in Polke's alchemistic mode of working, it is not completely impossible that further changes will be made. [...] the impulsive fragments that hovered freely at the beginning, have now gathered”. (Rudi Fuchs, Was man nicht sieht, in: Sigmar Polke. Die drei Lügen der Malerei, Ostfildern-Ruit 1997, p. 233). The latter can be taken almost literally: spherical elements circle in elliptical orbits around a spherical centre like satellites. From the right, a hand stretches across with a fork to poke the centre. In the middle of the crosses, a thumb presses the event, coordinates and construction planning seem to order the wildness of the composition. And “further changes”? The obvious, the uniformly orbiting satellites, is, however, overpainted, overwritten additionally by the enigmatic. The ambiguity as a system is initiated, the magical attraction shows its transparent effect in the form of overpainting of the plexiglass pane. Nevertheless transparent, it creates an imaginary space above the haptically visible on the surface of the actual image carrier.
Polke's grasp of early depictions of astronomy is linked here with his tendency to paraphrase things to his purpose. Constellations, orbits cross each other in everyday life and confront the change of the dynamically applied movement of colours; a first example of Polke's transparent painting? The view through the informally painted window in this world onto the events in orbit? With the sprayed comic hand and comic scissors, as with other details, Polke returns repeatedly to his composition repertoire of the 1970s and allows graphic moments, running colours, drastic overpaintings to grow together into an extraordinary mesh.
Sigmar Polke blends the enigmatic picture puzzle, integrated into the principle of Max Ernst's picture collages, in different layers, mixing at the same time also the source.
We would like to thank Michael Trier, Cologne, for helpful information.
Galerie Erhard Klein, Bonn; private collection, Berlin