Observations on pictures by Sigmar Polke
Dürer Hase (i.e., Dürer's Hare, 1970)
Tischerücken (i.e., Moving Tables, 1981)
Tischerücken is one of Polke's first poured pictures, in which the artist concedes accident a decisive part in his working process. Only through swaying the laid out surface, through moving the table on which it lies, does the picture emerge and receive the message of the painter, which is completely open to the interpretation of the viewer.
Polke reinforces the idea of the table by using simple, printed department store fabric in the place of a canvass and furthermore lets its protrude over the edges of the picture frame, like a table cloth. The drawing of lines on the surface can be read as a sketch adumbrating the work process. The form of the table is set aslant, the rolling lines suggest the flow of colour, and the perpendicular line can be seen as an indication of the result, an abstract panel. The painter constructs a mystery in the abstract dimension and at the same time exposes the method of secretiveness. There is nothing behind it but the artist himself.
Triptychon (i.e., Triptych, 1996)
The three-part work belongs to a series of poured and synthetic resin pictures. The three panels together form a unity. With a breadth of 8 ½ metres and a height of nearly 3 metres this monumental work is one of the biggest pictures in Polke's œuvre. It is today in possession of the Frieder Burda Collection.
The picture consists of several layers of synthetic resin and lacquer that run flowingly over and through each other and have hardened. Poured over a polyester fabric, the stretcher frame behind the picture shows through the picture's surface and so reinforces the interpretation that it represents a motif of crucifixion.
The tripartite form suggests a religious reading. The title further underscores this. But it is a purely abstract picture. Through the form and title, the viewer alone reads the sacral meaning into the work.