A mirror on reality | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 19, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, July 19, 2010

A mirror on reality

Solo exhibition of Sigmar Polke’s works


Artworks by Sigmar Polke.

Sigmar Polke was one of the illustrious painters on the contemporary German art scene. He passed away on June 10, 2010. Polke was an artist whose work defies easy descriptions. He was one of the most significant painters of the post-World War II generation. With his demise, Germans lost a great painter.
Goethe Institut Bangladesh is honouring the deceased painter by bringing a collection of 40 gouaches by Polke to Bangladesh. The solo exhibition, titled “Music from an Unknown Source,” is now being held at The German Cultural Centre gallery in Dhanmondi, Dhaka.
Polke did not confine himself only to painting; he did prints, gouache, drawings, graphic design and mixed media works. He was also a well-known photographer.
Polke's works are mainly drawing-based and he could easily depict agony, physiological journey and inner vision through portraits. His used scribbles in his works.
About Polke, veteran Bangladeshi artist Rafiqun Nabi said, “Since the early 1960s, Polke had experimented with a wide range of styles and subjects, bringing together imagery from contradictory and unexpected sources, both past and modern, and using a variety of different materials and techniques. He was multi-talented. His working style and approach may appear simple but convey his mastery. He made a personal hallmark through his creations and many expressionist painters in Germany are now following his styles and techniques. He amassed an indescribable abundance of figurative and abstract imagery.
“We are elated that a Polke exhibition is being held here. This exhibition will inspire artists, critics and art enthusiasts, especially young painters who are keen on experimental works.”
Polke's paintings have a delicate touch of reality with focused projection. His works denote social injustice and inhumanity. He had an inborn sense of colour, which makes his works lively and expressive. Dots form figures and their distinct movements in Polke's works. At the exhibition, his gouache-based works highlight human forms in contemplative and joyful moods.
In 1963 Polke founded the painting movement 'Capitalistic Realism.' It is an anti-style of art, appropriating the pictorial shorthand of advertising.
Polke addressed religious bigotry, ignorance, political and social discrimination through his caricatures. His works shed light on varied socio-political and economic crises in the German society. Polke's artistic diversity, and his resistance to any form of categorisation, has been seen as the only consistent theme in his work.
The exhibition will continue till August 2.

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