Capitalist Realism and Other Illustrated Histories
Deutsche Bank Supports Major Polke Show in Sao Paulo
||It’s the first major Polke exhibition since the artist’s death in June of 2010. The Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo Assis Chateaubriand (MASP) now honors the "ironic alchemist" with a major show sponsored by Deutsche Bank. Sigmar Polke—Capitalist Realism and other illustrated histories presents the complete graphic work of the artist together with 25 paper works from the series Day by Day, made in 1975 for the Biennale in Sao Paulo, where he was awarded first prize in the category painting. The works in the MASP are from the Ciesielski and another private collection; they were made between 1963 and 2009 and testify impressively to the development of Polke’s oeuvre. The press is also enthusiastic about the retrospective: Folha de Sao Paulo, one of Brazil’s most respected newspapers, counts it among the ten exhibitions that should under no circumstances be missed. Beuys and Beyond is also included in this selection. The show of works from the Deutsche Bank Collection is currently touring through seven renowned museums in Latin America and can be currently seen at the Instituto Tomie Ohtake.
The Polke exhibition in Sao Paulo borrows its title from an action that occurred at the very beginning of his artistic career. Together with Gerhard Richter and Konrad Lueg, he organized an exhibition in October 1963 at the Dusseldorf furniture store Berges that opened with the happening Life with Pop—A Demonstration for Capitalist Realism. Quotations of style and motif played a key role in Polke’s work; he brought a subversive humor to bear in his approach to media imagery, illustration, and comics. While initially he investigated the effect of a variety of different combinations of motifs, he later experimented with substances such as silver nitrate, shellac, iron oxide, and thermal paints that change color. Together with Gerhard Richter and Anselm Kiefer, he has been considered one of the most important contemporary painters in Germany since the 1980s.
The Deutsche Bank Collection is closely tied to Polke. More than 400 of his works have been purchased since the early eighties and have been shown in group exhibitions such as Blind Date and Drawing a Tension. In addition, many of the artist’s works belong to the set of 600 important works from the Deutsche Bank Collection that were donated to the Städel Museum in Frankfurt to commemorate the opening of its annex in February 2012. For a long time, the entire 21st floor in Tower A of the Group Head Office in Frankfurt was dedicated to him. But Sigmar Polke is also present in the new, younger art installment: today, his drawings have found their place on the floor of the Board of Directors.
Sigmar Polke—Capitalist Realism and Other Illustrated Histories
10/28/2011 — 1/29/2012
Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo Assis Chateaubriand