Sigmar Polke's "Klassenzimmer"

Sigmar Polke Klassenzimmer

Sigmar Polke; Klassenzimmer (Classroom); 1995; Four Color Offset Lithograph; Edition 62/75; 19.5" x 22.5" (sheet); Framed. $4,500

With his 2014 retrospective at both the Museum of Modern Art, New York and Tate Modern in London, the work of Sigmar Polke (1941-2010) has been permanently scripted into art history books. Add to that the forthcoming catalogue raisonné being compiled by his estate and Polke is sure to continue to influence generations of artists to come. 

Polke produced his first print in 1963 and continued the practice of printmaking, along with painting and photography, throughout his career. In producing his prints, he worked most frequently with Edition Staeck in Heidelberg, Germany. 1995 would mark the 30th Anniversary of Edition Staeck (and coincidentally the 50th Anniversary of the end of World War II). In celebration of their anniversary, Edition Staeck produced a portfolio titled Erinnern 1945-1995 (Remember 1945-1995) to which Polke was a contributor. 

It was at this same time that Polke would produce the print featured here, Klassenzimmer (Classroom). During this time, many of Polke’s paintings were almost completely non-representational - an important distinction from his print works, of which very few were as abstracted. Polke wanted to use the printmaking medium as a platform for communication, and here we see just that - a reflection of the last 50 years in Germany and the lingering effects of the War.

It should be noted that Polke’s work over the last few years was often overshadowed by the headlines and auction records of his closest peer, Gerhard Richter. With a renewed focus on Polke, and the resulting publications, we have an artist whose work will surely continue to appreciate. 

The example offered here is presented framed and ready for installation. To purchase this artwork and to see additional photographs, please visit my website. If you have any questions or would like further information please do not hesitate to contact me or simply reply to this email.

Image: Sigmar Polke (back) and Gerhard Richter (front) in a bath tub. Image via the Gerhard Richter archive.