Sigmar Polke

Dallas Museum of Art

Not interested in politics? Well, politics is interested in you. While you go about your business, hustling to work on the train or in a car, amid the swarming crowd, politicians look down from on high, drawing lines—of national boundaries and corporate connections—making decisions about right and wrong. The artist/intellectual can sympathize with either position. He may be down here with us little guys, feeling his way through the system, bumping up against its flaws and failures, like George Grosz or, more recently, Mike Kelley. Or the artist may sit in judgment, telling us what would be best for us, serving up high-minded ideals, like Malevich or Daniel Buren. Sigmar Polke accepts neither role. He occasionally plays the fool, but he isn’t the blinkered “little man,” who gets us all into trouble by refusing to look and think. Nor does Polke accept the know-it-all pose of the omniscient

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