Starting from the profane material of everyday culture, Polke interprets images of reality rather than reality itself, satirises tendencies in contemporary painting, questions the role of the artist as author, breaks down the trivial visual worlds of media photography, and always, but always, takes off on the most magnificient flights of imagination. This publication is the most complete monograph on the artist to date, and includes a number of works never before published.
Sigmar Polke was born is East Germany in 1941 and studied at the State Academy of Art in Dusseldorf. He first achieved recognition in 1963 when he began working in a witty and irreverent style he termed 'Capitalist Realism' - often considered a more complex and political cousin to Anglo-American Pop Art. He has continued to create innovative and aesthetically impressive works through to the present day. He has been the subject of solo exhibitions at such major institutions as the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; the Musée d Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; the Hirshorn Museum, Washington, D.C.; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Brooklyn Museum of Art; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the Walker Arts Center; and, in 1999, at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. He has been the recipient of the Venice Biennale's Golden Lion, the Erasmus award, and the Carnegie award. He lives and works in Cologne, Germany.