Sigmar Polke:
Eine Winterreise
at David Zwirner

New York,
7 May – 25 June, 2016

2.1

Sigmar Polke, Mondlandschaft mit Schilf (Moonlit Landscape with Reeds), 1969. Courtesy David Zwirner, New York/London
Sigmar Polke, Lappländische Reise III (Lapland Journey III), 1984. Courtesy David Zwirner, New York/London

 

 

David Zwirner presents the gallery’s first exhibition dedicated to the work of German artist Sigmar Polke, who is widely recognized for his multidisciplinary output of paintings, photographs, drawings, prints, objects, installations, and films. The artist’s work employs unusual materials and techniques, and playfully defies social, political, and aesthetic conventions. Throughout his prolific career, Polke’s unorthodox approach to materials, subject matter, and artistic processes was always concerned with the testing of limits and boundaries. This exhibition will demonstrate the influence of his radical and innovative practice, focusing on reinterpretations of travel-related themes, Romantic notions of the sublime, and hallucinatory imagery—thereby addressing both outward, physical travel and inner/mental, intellectual journeys.
In particular, the exhibition centers on the artist’s around-the-world journey from 1980 to 1981 that took him to Indonesia (Bali, Java, Sumatra), Papua New Guinea, Australia, Tasmania, Malaysia, and Thailand, among other locales. As noted by Polke, this trip inspired a close consideration of the material forms and cultural practices of color itself.  The exploration of color led Polke to the unconventional use of often dangerous or unstable chemical substances within his work.

 

“I WAS LOOKING FOR BRILLIANCE OF COLOR, AND IT HAPPENED TO BE TOXIC.” – SIGMAR POLKE

2

Sigmar Polke, Palme auf Autostoff (Palm Tree on Fabric), 1969.
Courtesy David Zwirner, New York/London