Untitled, ca. 1982
50 x 60,5 cm
Courtesy Sies + Höke, Düsseldorf
Curated by Veit Loers
Sies + Höke is delighted to present 'Bare Wunder', a group show that focuses on the various phases of Sigmar Polke's creative photographic oeuvre which is heavily affected by irony and mysticism. On the one hand, the exhibition aims to establish a connection between Polke's artistic influencers and the so-called 'ghost-photography', on the other it wants to relate Polke's work to associate artists and photographers as well as potential contemporary successors. Alongside Polke's photographies, the exhibition features other works from artists such as Anna & Bernhard Blume, John Bock, Brassaï, Johannes Brus, Tony Cragg, Walter Dahn, Louis Darget, Daniel Egg, Fischli/Weiss, Martin Kippenberger, Jürgen Klauke, Jochen Lempert, Peyman Rahimi, Man Ray, Gerhard Richter, Aleksandr Rodchenko, Gregor Schneider, Albert von SchrenckNotzing, Thomas Schütte, Ted Serios, Anton Stankowski, Otto Steinert, Miroslav Tichý, Type 42 (Anonymous), WOLS, Francesca Woodman, Thomas Zipp and many others.
In the middle of the 60s Polke discovered the medium of photography. His early works from the mid ́60s were concerned with immediate subjects found in the everyday world. Focusing on the exaggerated display of everyday objects, Polke challenged the authenticity of photographs. His works from the 70s heavily criticised notions of reality; he explored questions of authenticity, imitation and authorship through manipulations and the stylistic use of multiple exposures and overexposes. The darkroom became his laboratory in which he experimented with the mutable chemical consistency of the developer liquids and thus manipulated the development process. Polke disregarded standardised procedures and rules of chemistry that determine the length of time a print is to remain in a chemical bath as well as the consistence of the developer fluid in those baths. By creating experimental distortions in his images, he undermined the photographs' alleged fidelity to reality and covered his works under a veil of mysticism.
The exhibition intends to capture Polke's painterly approach to photography and to emphasise the radiant energy that his works have on contemporary generations of artists.