German painter Sigmar Polke dead at 69
Friday 11 June 2010
One of Germany's most important painters, the modernist Sigmar Polke, has died aged 69 after a long battle with cancer, his dealer Erhard Klein said on Friday.
Polke was best known for the Capitalist Realism movement he began in the 1960s, an ironic response to the Soviet Union's official art doctrine of Socialist Realism and the American Pop Art scene.
He used the imagery of Pop Art including ordinary foods as a starting point but manipulated them to the point of abstraction, making the familiar foreign.
An avid experimentalist, Polke moved fluidly between styles and media all the while maintaining his signature bemused distance in his work, which also included photography and graphic arts.
Born in Lower Silesia in today's Poland, Polke won many of the coveted prizes of the art world including the Golden Lion of the Venice Biennale in 1986.
Klein said that with Polke's death, the German art scene had lost one of its "most colourful personalities".
Culture Minister Bernd Neumann called Polke "one of the most important and successful representatives of contemporary German art".
"He was a critical, ironic and also self-deprecating observer of post-war history and its artistic commentator," he said.
"With a desire for experimentation, he developed his own language in images. Sigmar Polke, the 'alchemist of colours', leaves behind a unique body of artistic work."
auctionThe first 23 lots have now gone. But there are 22 more still up for grabs
musicPolice chief rejects rappers' claims that his work is as dangerous as law enforcement or military service
tvSpoiler alert: Find out the result of a heated final show
Beatles rush out 'bootleg' album to defy EU copyright law
Geoffrey Macnab reviews The Desolation of Smaug - the meat in Peter Jackson's Hobbit sandwich
Harvey Weinstein reveals his secret weapon on-set
Now that an oil trader's drinking has got him sacked, will we all have to make do with an afternoon latte?
Chiwetel Ejiofor and Idris Elba get nods for Best Actor, which no black Brit has ever won
peopleWhat advice would David Cameron give to his younger self?
Auction house to give away $1m masterpiece in charity raffle - and tickets are only $100 each
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nelson Mandela memorial: ‘Bogus’ sign language interpreter made mockery of Barack Obama’s tribute in Soweto
- 2 Mystery of Epping Forest 'big cat' is solved
- 3 French café starts charging extra to rude customers
- 4 Australia incest case: Severely deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
- 5 Physicists discover 'clearest evidence yet' that the Universe is a hologram
- < Previous
- Next >