Sigmar Polke | Music from an Unknown Source, paintings, 1996

May 20, 2000 - Aug, 12, 2000

“The forty gouaches presented here are all 70X100 cm and were all made in 1996. In them Polke presents a contemporary chamber recital of “cosmic tasters” of his entire artistic output, at the same time affording an insight into its riches.
Their close proximity allows us to follow the artist’s thinking with greater immediacy. if the sight of them creates an impression of tenderness and beauty, then this is a natural result of the processes involved and not of some contrived calculation. Transparsence and vigour, a feeling of ‘looking over someone’s shoulder’ are the predominant sensations as one gets to grips with these works and begin to understand how they have been ‘produced’. Especially in his works on paper, one encounters a particular dimension which might be described as the extended ‘ understanding of understanding’.This derives from the artist’s extremely open, relaxed attitude to his own work, allowing other powers to play a part in the process he has initiated and is supposedly controlling. Polke’s love of experiment is paired with a kind of critical humility towards knowledge and ability – both on personal and human-historical level. And, at the same time, there is also his sheer delight in his own artfulness.Clear snapshots of his thinking point towards the larger time-dimensions of his overall output which in themselves are the root of his capacity to anticipate and somehow to hold together the divers.”

Bice Curiger (From the exhibition’s catalogue)

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