This painting helped Polke to break into New York in 1981. It formed part of a solo exhibition of just three works hung from poles rather than stretchers that combined printed fabric, painterly marks and imagery taken from popular culture. Here Alice is seen talking to the caterpillar with a basketball player shooting a hoop to the right of the painting.
Alice in Wonderland
Sigmar Polke: Alibis
310 x 286 cm
Acrylic, spray paint, poster paint, and metallic paint on pattered fabric
Date of work
Original:Acrylic, spray paint, poster paint, and metallic paint on pattered fabric 310 x 286 cm Private Collection © The Estate of Sigmar Polke / DACS, London
Born in Germany in 1941, Sigmar Polke was one of the most insatiably experimental artists of the twentieth century. He worked in off-the-wall materials, often appropriating images and techniques from other artists. Polke took a wildly different approach to art-making throughout his career, from his responses to consumer society in the 1960s to his interest in travel, drugs and communal living in the 1970s and his increasingly experimental practice after 1980. This love of experimentation, abrupt stylistic changes and of contradiction, irony and mocking remained essential to his innovative art and have left his work hard to categorise, even after his death in 2010.