Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Polke, untitled, 1969
In Norm Sarachek's recent comment on the Student Work post, he expanded my allusion to classic cameraless style by mentioning Wolfgang Tillmans. Right away, I smiled and thought about poet Kenneth Koch, whose most famous line could be put to use here to read, "One great artist may hide another." Like many of us, I was pondering the life and achievement of Sigmar Polke, who left us June 10. Experimentalist to a fault, among the breadth of his work in painting, collage, sculpture, installation, drawing, cinema and so forth, is a body of work in photography that seems always, whether it satisfactorily 'works' or not - and that may just be the point - to be on the very edge of what one can dare to do. I am not familiar with much of his output, but his piece in the recent Surface Tension show at the Metropolitan Museum caused me to revisit it on 4 or 5 occasions, each time more in awe.