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Destabilization and Disruption in Sigmar Polke's Art

  • Journal of History of Modern Art
  • 2018, (43), pp.7-34
  • DOI : 10.17057/kahoma.2018..43.001
  • Publisher : 현대미술사학회
  • Research Area : Arts and Kinesiology > Art > Arts in general > Art History
  • Received : April 29, 2018
  • Accepted : May 28, 2018
  • Published : June 30, 2018

Heekyeong Yun 1

1서울대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Destabilzation and disruption are the central concerns in the art of Sigmar Polke, which challenges the internal premises in art and deals with the social concerns of his time. This study focuses on these aspects in three perspectives that are followed below. First, in raster-paintings which is a form of critical appropriation of American Pop Art, Polke dissolves the deceptive visual images of the printed world of simulacre, which masks the reality of the postwar Germany. The second group of works consists of ‘alchemical’-paintings in which the image constantly changes, in response to temperature and humidity. In these works, Polke not only breaks down the boundaries of media by using the photo-chemical mechanism of photography as for producing painterly effects, but overthrows the concept of a completed work through the constant transformation of the image. Furthermore, by combining the ‘alchemical’-paintings with a historical place or motif, Polke expresses a new understanding of history as a dynamic process of which meaning is constantly changing in accordance with the present condition and perspective of the subject. Finally, Polke overthrows the myths of art history through ironic twist of the dominant art form of modernism that has been regarded as normative. In addition, he aims to debunk the political ideology hidden beneath the abstract art, which provides an effective means to ignore and silence the postwar history of Germany.

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