Sigmar Polke was a German artist who is widely considered to be one of the most influential of the postwar era. His work is characterised by an experimental approach and use of a wide variety of styles, media, and subject matter.
Polke’s art engages unconventional and diverse materials and techniques, as well as the use of ironic and humorous imagery, as strategies of social, political, and aesthetic critique. He has stated that “there has to be an element in of risk-taking for me in my work,”
While studying at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Polke met with artists like Gerhard Richter, and Konrad Lueg. Together they responded to the nationalistic themes of Socialist Realism, while also critiquing West Germany’s burgeoning consumer society.
Polke’s went on to have a profound impact on a generation of young American artists and his work is included in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tate Gallery in London among others.