Sigmar Polke – Drawings. Gouaches. Watercolors. 1964–2005

September 5, 2008 – October 30, 2008


Schönewald Fine Arts will open its new space in Düsseldorf with an exhibition of works on paper by Sigmar Polke. On view will be a group of works from the 1960s, two sketchbooks (1969/70), a gouache from the series created for the Westfälischer Kunstverein (1973), as well as five large-scale gouaches created between 2000 and 2005. Compiled from various sources, the works provide a concise overview of Polke’s multifarious works on paper over a period of 40 years. In the 1960s, and thus in part during his days as a student, Polke surprised the public with an explosion of ideas, ranging from tales of the South Sea fantasies of the German “Wirtschaftswunder” to excursions into art history (Dürer’s Great Turffrom 1503) and even contemporary advertising. With an all but encyclopaedic interest, he appropriates the broadest range of images from the print media and transforms these in such a way that his own unique graphic style is immediately recognisable. Two sketchbooks from 1969/70 (each approx. 21 x 15 cm) pay testimony to Polke’s unrestrained enthusiasm in describing the world in all its facets. The first of these contains 90 watercolours, each representing landscapes and architectural subjects, inspired as much by his own unique visions as well as by his preoccupation with science fictions comics. The second sketchbook contains 28 watercolours, including abstract motifs, capriccios and nudes, which are characterised by a metamorphic nature: true gems of graphic art. All pages of these precious books will be made available to the public for the first time ever in facsimile form. The exhibition is rounded off by five large-scale works (each approx. 210 x 160 cm): powerful examples of Polke’s mature artistic virtuosity. The enormous thematic range of these works – from ancient myths and history to everyday life and media clichés – is topped only by the multitude of artistic media: colourful crystalline forms, paint splashes, raster screen formations and linear figurations build visual amalgams, in whose depths one can make countless new discoveries.


Installation images