“Sigmar Polke”

The Estate of Sigmar Polke is now represented by David Zwirner

As of 9 October 2015, the David Zwirner gallery in New York will represent The Estate of Sigmar Polke. David Zwirner said, “being able to work with The Estate of Sigmar Polke is a dream come true. I had the great fortune of meeting Sigmar and witnessing firsthand the enormous influence he exerted on his generation and the ones that followed. His creativity and curiosity knew no bounds, and his ability to innovate across different media is unparalleled. We are very much looking forward to presenting and exploring the different facets of his work as we develop exhibitions with the Estate.” The gallery is organising its first exhibition of Polke’s work in collaboration with the Estate which will take place in New York in May 2016. Sigmar Polke, from Germany (1941-2010), was an artist of the postwar era. He is recognised for his multidisciplinary body of work including paintings, photographs, drawings, prints, sculptures, installations and films. The Estate of Sigmar Polke is intended as the central point of contact for all those who wish to engage with Sigmar Polke’s works, whether they are scholars or artists. Polke’s work was recently the subject of a critically acclaimed travelling retrospective that was held from 2014-2015 at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tate Modern, London and the Museum Ludwig,...

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Controversy over estate of Sigmar Polke

On 6 August 2015 the regional court of Cologne in Germany pronounced its verdict on a case made by a collector against the Sigmar Polke Estate. It ruled that the painting which is the subject of the trial should be handed over to the collector. In 2007 a collector claimed to have bought an untitled painting from the artist for a sum of €100,000. However the work was seized two years later when Sigmar Polke declared the painting as stolen saying that no transaction had taken place. Ascertaining the true ownership of the work was made more difficult by the death of the artist in 2010. The court decided that there was not sufficient evidence to prove that there had been a theft. As such, the Sigmar Polke Estate will have to hand over the painting to the collector. Sigmar Polke often sold his works below the market price. Furthermore he did not keep precise records of sales and his works were not always signed, making the court’s decision determining ownership very difficult. Born in 1941, Sigmar Polke was a German painter and photographer. He is most famous for his abstract paintings, exploring the reactions between paint and other chemical...

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Christie’s ESSL collection sale totals £46.9 million

On Monday 13 October 2014, Christie’s London hosted a sale of 44 works selected from the ESSL Collection of contemporary art, which realised a total of £46.9 million. The 44 lots were hand-picked by Christie’s from a collection of almost 7000 works which is currently undergoing a part-liquidation process in order to raise funds for the struggling hardware chain store BauMax DIY, founded by Karlheinz Essl: “Through the proceeds of this sale, the long-term future of the Essl Museum is now secured,” Essl said in a statement. The pre-sale estimate was between £39.9 and £56.8 million. During the sale four lots went unsold, 12 lots sold on or below their low estimate price, with one lot having been withdrawn prior to the sale due to damages. The biggest surprise of the auction was Gerhard Richter‘s Netz, which had previously sold for $308,500 at Sotheby’s New York in 1994, yet which remained unsold during the sale. Christie’s has since released information confirming a private sale which took place after the auction where a £5.5 million deal was struck, against a £7 to 10 million estimate. The artist who saw the greatest success at Christie’s London was Sigmar Polke, whose 1975 spray-enamel painting sold for £5.1 million against a £1.5 to 2 million estimate. This piece is the second-most-expensive work to have been created by Polke and has seen a 3,990% increase in price since it was acquired 17 years ago for $200,500 at Christie’s New...

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Sigmar Polke retrospective at Tate Modern in October

Tate Modern is to exhibit its first retrospective dedicated to Sigmar Polke. “Alibis: Sigmar Polke, 1963-2010” is to be on display from 9 October 2014 to 8 February 2015. This exhibition has been organised by the Museum of Modern Art, where it is showing until 3 August 2014. Nearly 250 works are to be displayed in London, showcasing all media used by the artist; painting, photography, video, drawing and sculpture. Polke is considered one of the major figures to emerge from a generation of German artists, whose emergence in the 1960s had an astounding effect on the contemporary art world. Like his contemporaries Gerhard Richter and Blinky Palermo, Polke’s work is now internationally acclaimed. The artist’s youth was turbulent: born in Silesia (now south-western Poland), his family fled the unrest at the end of the Second World War to Eastern Germany and crossed the Iron Curtain in 1953. From 1961, Polke joined the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf, led by Beuys, where he met Gerhard Richter and the soon-to-be art dealer Konrad Fischer. Polke borrowed images from popular iconography and the media, analysing his findings with a characteristic cynicism. His style constantly oscillated between figurative and abstract, defying the strict classification occasionally necessitated by art. His images were inspired by processes, such as printing, and scattered dots — which he manually re-transcribed — became his signature style. In the 1970s, Polke identified his work as being bathed in an aesthetic doubt, which manifested itself in a derision of the practice of painting, his own painting, inspiration as an idea and the consumerist society. Polke mistrusted all social, political and Western artistic traditions, and he treated the social transformation of the post-war boom with suspicion. The exhibition also pays tribute to his willingness to experiment with unconventional media, demonstrated through the wide variety of materials employed in the works on...

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Sigmar Polke at Michael Werner

“Early Works on Paper” is an exhibition dedicated to Sigmar Polke (1941-2010), taking place at Michael Werner Gallery in New York until 7 June. The exhibition presents 110 drawings, realised in the 1960s by Polke. Many of these originate from the artist’s sketchbooks, in which he used a variety of materials to create his drawings, including: ballpoint pen, marker, pencil, watercolour, gouache and collage. The exhibition illustrates the beginnings of a complex body of work — recurring motifs throughout the drawings can be seen as the founding basis for his later paintings and sculptures. This autumn, the Museum of Modern Art in New York is to present “Alibis: Sigmar Polke 1963-2010”, a comprehensive retrospective comprised of about 300 of the artist’s works. The exhibition will later travel to other international institutions, including Tate Modern (London), and Museum Ludwig...

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