Sigmar Polke “The Distance to Things – The Proximity to Things”

Paul Kasmin Gallery (297 10th Ave.)

poster for Sigmar Polke “The Distance to Things – The Proximity to Things”

This event has ended.

The Distance to Things – The Proximity to Things features Polke photographs and drawings from the collection of Carl Vogel. Vogel was a lifelong friend of the artist, and the works presented at Kasmin possess a unique, private character. The exhibition showcases various aspects of Polke experimentation in photography and development in the 1970s, as well as pen drawings from the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Works by Sigmar Polke from the Carl Vogel collection

Carl Vogel (1923-2006) was the president of College of Fine Arts in Hamburg. He was an impassioned collector, who started collecting in his childhood and amassed close to 20,000 items, mostly works on paper and photographs, from the 1960s and 1970s. This extensive collection enjoys an international reputation for its quality, the freshness of the material and the private character of the works.

The present group of Polke photographs from the Carl Vogel collection shows various aspects of his photographic oeuvre in the 1970s. Polke captures his personal surroundings (his flat in the Kirchfeldstr., the Carrera toy-speedway of his son, his daughter Anna, his wife Karin, his friend Marietta Althaus) or everyday life (a street beggar, an exhibition opening, a TV scene), also simple objects (feather duster) using different unusual perspectives. He experiments with techniques such as multiple negative exposure, chemical manipulation in the darkroom, various emulsions or means of dissolution and also explores the reaction of solarisation.

The group of Polke drawings from the late 1960s/beginning of the 1970s demonstrates how the artist ironically deals with the trivial and banal. In the 1960s Polke proclaimed together with his fellow artists Gerhard Richter and Konrad Lueg the “Capitalist realism” which was based on American Pop Art and parodied the German consumer society in those years. Although Polke plays with clichés and kitsch and deliberately uses banal slogans, his ballpoint-pen or felt-tipped pen works on notebook paper are immune against interpretation, they are more like an internal monologue, a visual expression of what he thinks and feels in this very moment. Some of the themes were later realized in his paintings.

The variety and rarity of this small group combined with its provenance of the works makes it so unique.

The exhibition will coincide with Robert Motherwell: Works on Paper 1951 - 1991 at Paul Kasmin Gallery’s 515 West 27th Street location.



from November 11, 2014 to December 23, 2014


Sigmar Polke

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