Sigmar Polke


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Status, estimation and price of the artist Sigmar Polke

Price of a painting: 55,000 – 1,000,000 €.

Price of a drawing: 3 200 – 1,000,000 €.

Estimation of a print: 200 – 22,000 €.

Price of a photograph: 900 – 18,000 €.

If you would like to have a Sigmar Polke work appraised, our experts will take care of everything.

An artist involved in social conflicts

Sigmar Polke was born in 1941 in the Silesian town of Oels. He fled with his mother to Thuringia when the German communities were expelled after the Second World War. He completed an apprenticeship in the glass trades in Düsseldorf and studied at the Kunstakademie in 1961. His early works bear witness to a certain economic comfort that has been restored, while at the same time deploring the petty-bourgeois comfort of West Germany (Biscuit, 1964). The society he describes no longer seems to be able to distinguish the futile from the indispensable. After an almost abstract production, Polke integrates industrial materials such as fabric into his work (Lila-Form 1967). Unlike the productions of the moderns, which polarise the abstract and the figurative, Polke establishes a mixture of the two.

From modernism to post-modernism

In the 1950s and 1960s, the art critic Clement Greenbrg established an immutable difference between art and culture, between the autonomous work, which must respect the rules of its medium, and the image, which is popular and reproducible. Polke, however, would integrate these two mediums into his work (Pasadena 1968). This work, which consists of an enlarged photograph from a newspaper, blurred to represent a piece of the moon, also contains a caption that makes it possible to identify what is being represented. Thus, this work is neither abstract nor figurative. Without the artist’s intervention on his works, as with his series of Rasterbilder (1963-1969), which reproduce the printing screens, could be interpreted as an umpteenth variant of Marcel Duchamp’s Ready-made.

Polke also challenged the near-heroic status and divine inspiration that artists, particularly abstract expressionists such as Jackson Pollock, are given, with one of his most emblematic works: Higher Beings gave the order: “Paint the top corner in noir ! “Made in 1969. Polke also lent himself to minimal and conceptual art (Losange I-IV, 1967).

Polke photographer

Polke, through the photographs he takes in Afghanistan and Pakistan in particular, questions, from 1971 onwards, the notion of authenticity as well as the status of the author. He denies the “real” nature of what photography captures and highlights the chemical processes inherent in the making of the image. This taste for the chemical processes he explores with photography is reflected in the 1980s with a pictorial production for which he uses arsenic, highly toxic, to breathe new life into painting. His paintings, which react to humidity, are therefore not objects as such, but organisms. The artist has made a point of illustrating the course of history by evoking themes such as Al-Quaida or National Socialism by breathing new life into twentieth century art.

Recognising Sigmar Polke’s signature

Like many artists, Sigmar Polke did not sign all of his works. However, you will find below an example of the signatures to give you an idea. Variations of these signatures do exist, do not hesitate to contact one of our experts to formally authenticate a signature.

Appraise and sell a painting by Sigmar Polke

If you own a Sigmar Polke painting or any other sculpture, ask for a free estimate via our online form.

You will then be contacted by a member of our team of experts and auctioneers to give you an independent view of the market price of your painting. In the event of a sale, our specialists will also advise you on the various options available to sell your work at the best price.