Sigmar Polke

Kunstmuseum Bonn

“Many colored things arranged next to one another produce a series of many colored things,” according to Lawrence Weiner. If taken with a grain of salt, this statement can be applied to Sigmar Polke’s work. With over 400 works, this exhibition was the most comprehensive to date for the artist. There is no uniformity in Polke’s oeuvre, which prevented the show from becoming a typical retrospective, in which the viewer is offered an accessible presentation. Polke is fully aware of the mummifying effect of such surveys, and he scattered new and completely unknown paintings throughout the museum just before the opening in order to cancel out the basic notion of a retrospective. Ultimately—and this may be encouraged by the cabinetlike architecture of this museum—two series of works emerged, but there was no overall chronological order. Because of the strategy of both the work and this exhibition,

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