German, 1941 – 2010
Sigmar Polke was born in 1941 in Germany. As a child, his family was forced to escape from East to West Berlin in 1953. In 1961, he went to study art at the Düsseldorf Arts Academy. Düsseldorf at this time was a thriving artistic and cultural city. In 1963, Polke and fellow artist Gerhard Richter founded an art movement called “Capitalist realism. This term is meant to refer to the modern art of the West.
Polke’s early work is often called European Pop art because he depicts everyday items along with images found in mass media in post war Germany. Later, Sigmar Polke created works that are referred to as his “raster drawings”, which creates the image via a series of dots, similar to the way Roy Litchenstein worked.
He also used industrial printed fabrics as a background for his subjects. His experimenting continued with the use of photo-chemicals which allows colors to change over time with different exposures to light or temperatures.
Sigmar Polke was known for experimenting with his style and medium. This made him, as an artist, difficult to categorize in a particular art movement. He was always innovative.