Sigmar Polke – Untitled (Triptych) 2002

Sigmar Polke was a German Painter and Photographer. I find his work to be instantly recognisable by the large pixelated dots used in the photographic element of the pieces. It feels reminiscent of Roy Lichtenstein and the Pop Art movement, only without the bright and bold colours and stylised illustration. The Tate website describes his style as:

His paintings combine found printed images with more organically-made painterly marks. He uses half-tone photography from newspapers and magazines, enlarging and reproducing it on canvas, often corrupting the original beyond recognition.

Untitled (Triptych) 2002 by Sigmar Polke 1941-2010
Sigmar Polke – Untitled (Triptych) 2002

When Polke returned to painting later in his career, he became interested in combining materials and elements within his paintings. I mostly know of his figurative work, and so was really intrigued by the ambiguity of the piece ‘Untitled (Triptych) 2002’. The marks could be interpreted differently by different people. I find myself more drawn to the aggressive, vertical black painted lines over the circular shapes. There are different areas of the photograph on resin background which jump out at me the longer I stare at each piece. I see there to be a progression in movement across the triptych, with the circles appearing to move across from the left to the right, and almost off the plane completely. The colour palette is not terribly wide in this piece, whereas some of his work has been highly colourful. However, I do think that the simpler colour palette works for highlighting and emphasising his mark making, which is the focus of this particular piece.

Although he doesn’t have his own website, more information can be found about him and his work here.


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