Installation view, Sigmar Polke at the Portland Art Museum, Oregon (photo: Jeff Jahn)
Victor Maldonado reviews an exhibition of works by Sigmar Polke from the Nicolas Berggruen Charitable Trust, recently on view at the Portland Art Museum, Oregon.
Maldonado writes that "what at first appears to be an arbitrary array of works, upon deeper study becomes a compelling pocket survey of Polke's prolific career... Polke's Proveidentia-Schleife still seems to have its way with us, like an ancient insect encased in resin suspended forever in time. Polke's tongue-and-cheek sensibility seems to enable a nimbleness usually missing from the experience of gazing onto the frozen faces of many paintings... [Polke's] canvases have a hold on loss and failure in a manner that is truly modern. It is a quality that any young artist should understand given the transient and decentralized nature of a contemporary global culture by the few, for the few. The beauty in his works is not classical in the sense of absolute truths and forms at rest, but rather of flexibility and resilience."
D Richmond looks at the pictorial achievements of Sigmar Polke.
Dicussing Polke's "play between illusionism and reality," in the painting Negative Value II, Mizar, 1982, Richmond writes: "there is no recognizable imagery and the color in itself is ambiguous. What gesture that exists, if one could call it that, is not in the traditional painterly terms that one or at least myself thinks about in creating space. The space that exists in this does not make the canvas plane, the proto-typical concern of a Greenbergian formalism in late 20th century the primary focus. In fact this surface plane is of no import, hence the illusionism. Polke has created a spatial infinite..."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.