Sigmar Polke: The Multiplication of Humour

Cat. Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Siegen, and les Abatoirs, Toulouse

Exhibition catalogue, ed. by Eva Schmidt and Olivier Michelon
texts (German/French/English) by Hubertus Butin, Jörg Heiser, Thomas Kapielski, Mike Karstens, Erhard Klein, Stefan Koldehoff, Stefanie Kreuzer, Petra Lange-Berndt, Morad Montazami, Ursula Panhans-Bühler, Jean-Christophe Royoux, Dietmar Rübel, Ines Rüttinger, Ludwig Seyfarth, Christian Spies, Klaus Staeck
176 p with 130 coloured illustrations
315 x 230 mm, hardcover

ISBN: 978-3-86442-042-9

39,80 €


Sigmar Polke’s work contains around 200 editions dating from 1963 to 2009, and the collection Ciesielski has collected them worldwide in their entirety. The book accompanying the exhibition showcasing this collection and its juxtaposition with works in the Lambrecht-Schadeberg collection in the Museum of Contemporary Art Siegen, is intended to facilitate an intense discussion of work of individual, outstanding editions by the late winner of the City of Siegens Ruben’s Prize (2007) lead by a younger generation of critics, but also by specialists with intimate knowledge as well as close associates. The authors embark upon an exciting adventure to formulate new approaches to the work of the ambivalent and ironic Grand Master.
With his sheets, maps, books, photographs and objects, Sigmar Polke opened up completely new pathways for art in the twentieth century by means of surprising themes and experimental techniques. The editions drew upon his paintings, on the one hand in order to feed back into them, but on the other, to develop completely individual media-based aspects – almost as if to say: a life of its own. The special feature of Sigmar Polke's editions is of course the fact that a camouflage-like blurring principle is granted full thematic exploration within them. He produced photos here reminiscent of reportage and social criticism and juxtaposed them as equals with his colourful, serial prints containing everyday motifs, his so-called »German-pop« style-mix of simple fabrics. His critical attitude towards both the media and culture shines through in his multiples, especially when he worked with historical engravings or optical equipment, or even when simulating magical procedures.

Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen, 16/3–23/6/2013
les Abatoirs, Toulouse, 31/1–4/5/2013