Sigmar Polke

Galerie Chantal Crousel

In this exhibition Sigmar Polke commemorated the bicentennial of the French Revolution in his own distinctive manner. His testimony continues the lively interest that certain German intellectuals have always had in this event. Goethe, like many of the early Romantics, saw in the Revolution the realization of his dreams and hopes, even if the turn of events brought him disillusionment and disenchantment. Polke’s vision is, in this perspective, one of the most original ones. He doesn’t cover up the violent, even bloody, nature of this event, emphasizing that violence wasn’t merely a perverse effect of the Revolution, but a constitutive and fundamental part of it. Each of the nine canvases shown here refers to a bloody historic episode and was inspired by engravings that were popular at that time. Two pieces explicitly refer to July 14, 1789. In both cases Polke chooses to represent decapitated

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