Sigmar Polke

Boymans van Beuningen Museum

“Semiconceptual tautologists . . . industrious church painters,” who produce “painting for clever blind men and others who can see as little as they can think”—so did Sigmar Polke, in 1976, describe those he felt were his opposites. At that time he was still having to fight the champions of a concrete, anti-illusionistic art. Now, eight years later, the tide has turned in his favor, and a wider public can see how this artist, born in 1941, was the precursor of many contemporary painters. At the same time it has become clear what a difference in quality there is between him and many of the newcomers.

Of course Polke has not gone unnoticed over the last twenty years; until now, however, his work was never an unequivocal success. Remarkably, this exhibition broke that pattern, arousing great fascination as well as a much-heard complaint that it was impossible to remember all the paintings—proof

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