Sigmar Polke Prints

Sigmar Polke‘s limited edition prints stand as a crucial testament to his experimental approach in post-war art, blending a unique mix of media and techniques. These editions, available for sale, are emblematic of his influential role in the Capitalist Realism movement, challenging traditional artistic conventions and inviting a deeper understanding of the socio-political landscape of the time.

Sigmar Polke (German, 1941–2010), often heralded as “the alchemist” for his inventiveness, curiosity, and wit, played a pivotal role in shaping contemporary art with his experimental approach. Throughout his career, Polke explored a multitude of mediums and materials, creating a diverse body of artwork that includes paintings, prints, and photographs. His studio resembled a laboratory, reflecting his innovative manipulation of chemical processes in both painting and photography. Living in post-war Germany, Polke co-founded the Capitalist Realism movement with Gerhard Richter and Konrad Lueg in the 1960s. This movement, serving as a critique of American Pop Art and Social Realism, delved into themes of consumerism and the lifestyle of the German postwar bourgeoisie. It drew heavily on the imagery of popular culture and advertising, mirroring the societal shifts of the time. Polke’s artwork often featured everyday and mass-produced objects, painted on unconventional surfaces like wallpaper or fabric, highlighting the intersection between art and the commercial world. He frequently employed offset printing techniques to further integrate commercial imagery into his artwork. One of his signature methods was the “grid” technique, where he translated enlarged prints of magazine and newspaper images onto canvas, creating a raster aesthetic that blurred the lines between art historical motifs and contemporary media. This blending of high and low culture in his paintings and fine art prints not only challenged artistic conventions but also left a lasting impact on subsequent generations of artists. His artworks, including his limited edition prints, continue to be celebrated for their innovative and critical approach to material and culture, making Polke a key figure in the evolution of postmodern art. Sigmar Polke exhibited his work at numerous international biennales, including documenta, the Bienal de São Paulo, and the Venice Biennale, where he was awarded the Golden Lion for his solo presentation at the West German Pavilion in 1986. Major retrospectives have been held by the Museum of Modern Art (New York), Tate Modern (London), Museum Ludwig (Cologne), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Smithsonian Institution (Washington, DC).

Auction record: US$27.1m, Sotheby’s, 2015


Available Prints by Sigmar Polke

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