Experimentation with images, Sigmar Polke

Experimentation with images, Sigmar Polke

After recommendations from both my tutor and my boyfriend, who’s rarely asĀ impressed by an exhibition as he was by this, I went to see the Sigmar Polke exhibition at the Tate Modern. I was intrigued by how he used such a broad range of techniques, styles and materials, but managed to keep a coherent line throughout his work. I especially liked how he applied systems to his drawings but the results ended up completely abstract, like the ones made by rows of dots, they had a system to them, but they had this quite random expressionistic quality to them as well. Polke was constantly challenging accepted materials in art and using a lot of (self?) referencing and narrative elements, similar to how I mirror myself onto my surroundings in my own work. He used a lot of referencing in his work, such as materials referencing the figurative image (e.g. using cheap paint to paint random daily household products). This meant a provocation of how we typically look and perceive images.

The pieces “Hand lines” and “Moderne Kunst” was quite abstract, but suddenly achieved a clear narrative when presented with the title of the work. Humor was a general tool used to critique either the art world or political elements in society.

I was interested in responding to the exhibition by making a series of drawing experiments, where I tried to capture that playfulness, and referencing what I had experienced in Polke’s work. I was interested in including referencing of images, made up systems, and humor as tools of investigation.