The Museum of Modern Art presents the first comprehensive retrospective of German artist Sigmar Polke comprising works across all mediums, including painting, photography, film, drawing, prints, and sculpture.
Widely regarded as one of the most influential artists of the postwar generation, Polke possessed an irreverent wit that, coupled with his exceptional grasp of the properties of his materials, pushed him to experiment freely with the conventions of art and art history.
Constantly searching, Polke studiously avoided any one signature style or medium; his method exemplified the definition of alibi, “in or at another place,” which also suggests a deflection of blame. This exhibition follows Polke’s enormous skepticism of all social, political, and artistic traditions against German history and the country’s transformation in the postwar period. Four gallery spaces on MoMA’s second floor are dedicated to his oeuvre showing more than 250 works constituting one of the largest exhibitions ever organized at the Museum.
The exhibition is based on a chronological concept and presents treasures from small intimate notebook sketches to large sized paintings that test the architectural scale of the museum galleries. Among the many noted works on view are 13 films by Polke, eight of which have never before been available. Further rare pieces like a performance made for West German television that was last aired in 1972 and a group of monumental paintings made entirely of soot on glass that have never been exhibited in the United States.
Museum of Modern Art
19 April – 03 August 2014