During the 1970s Polke studied hallucinogens from various cultures, including mushrooms and frog urine. In this painting he has overlaid brightly coloured emulsion and spray paint over a photographic transfer of a mushroom which gives a feel of enhanced colours or a hallucination.
Sigmar Polke: Alibis
40 x 50 cm
Photographic emulsion with acrylic and spray paint on canvas
Date of work
Original: Photographic emulsion with acrylic and spray paint on canvas 40 x 50 cm ACT Art Collection, Germany © 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.