Sigmar Polke

Undesired Gifts (Unerwünschte Geschenke)

, 2003
  • Material
    Screenprint on cardboard
  • Herstellungsmethode
    Signed, dated and numbered
  • Auflage
    75
  • Maße
    50 cm x 70 cm
  • Details zum Rahmen
    Handgearbeiteter gewachster Ahorn-Holzrahmen mit 10mm Distanzleiste, Maße 55,9 x 76,2 cm, Staubdicht verschlossen, inkl. rückseitiger Hängeleiste.
The new and affordable way to buy contemporary art

Strictly limited and signed art editions Limited stock From emerging talents to today’s most sought-after artists

Easy and free sign-up to shop our weekly deals

About the artist/h2>Sigmar Polke’s artistic career already began at the age of six. Back then, he painted a bomber from whose belly swastikas rained down. He was a child of the war — like his artist friend Gerhard Richter, and like Richter he had fled from the GDR to West Germany. The two met at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, where they proclaimed the “capitalist realism” movement, in opposition to the dictates that they had experienced in East Germany. They received attention from the start, but Polke became world-renowned thanks to his painting “Höhere Wesen befahlen: rechte obere Ecke schwarz malen!” (“Higher beings commanded: Paint the upper corner black!”) from 1969. Except for the black corner, the demand is noted on the white canvas in typewriter font. Polke didn’t shy away from expressing irony and rebelled against the elevation of artistic creation and the art industry — though he would later become one of the highest-traded German artists. In 1972, curator Harald Szeemann invited him to the Documenta 5. Polke would subsequently also appear at the Documenta 6 and 7. In 1986, Polke received the Golden Lion for the German Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, and in 2002 the Praemium Imperiale in Tokyo, to name only two of his many honours.

About the Edition

The edition “Unerwünschte Geschenke” (“Undesired gifts”) from 2002 combines Polke’s humour with his passion for Roy Lichtenstein: “I love all the dots”, he once declared. “I am married to many dots. I waant all dots to be happy. The dots are my brothers. I too am a dot. Back in the day, we all played together, but today, everyone goes their own way.” Though Polke shared an interest in the mundane language of advertising and kitsch with the American pop artists, he presented himself in a much more derisive manner than they did.

Latest Exhibitions (Selection)


2016/2017, An Imagined Museum. Works from the Centre Pompidou, Tate and MMK collections Centre Pompidou-Metz; My Abstract World me Collectors Room Berlin; Sammlung Opitz-Hoffmann Kunstsammlung Jena
2016, Sigmar Polke, Pinault Collection, Palazzo Grassi, Venedig; You've Got to Know the Rules ... to Break Them De La Cruz Collection Contemporary Art Space, Miami; Das imaginäre Museum. Werke aus dem Centre Pompidou, der Tate und dem MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; Illumination Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk; sammlung mit losen enden Kunsthaus NRW, Aachen-Kornelimünster; FLORA, FAUNA AND OTHER FORMS OF LIFE Michael Werner Gallery, London; Sigmar Polke, eine Winterreise, David Zwirner, New York; Sigmar Polke, Early Prints, Städel Museum Frankfurt
2015, Alibis: Sigmar Polke, Retrospektive, Museum Ludwig, Köln
2011, Sigmar Polke – Eine Hommage, Bilanz einer Künstlerfreundschaft Polke / Staeck, Akademie der Künste, Berlin
2010, Hommage an Sigmar Polke, anlässl. des Todes von Sigmar Polke, Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden
2009, Sigmar Polke, Wir Kleinbürger! Zeitgenossen und Zeitgenossinnen, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg
2006, Sigmar Polke - Alice in Wonderland, The National Museum of Art, Osake, Japan
2005, Sigmar Polke. Works & Days, Kunsthaus Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland (solo)
2003, Sigmar Polke, History of Everything, Tate Modern, London, England
1999, Sigmar Polke, Works on Paper, 1963-1974, MOMA, New York, USA
1997, Sigmar Polke. Die drei Lügen der Malerei, Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn
1986, Ausstellungsbeitrag Biennale Venedig, Pavillon der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Italien
1983, Zeichnungen 1963-1968, Galerie Michael Werner, Köln

Discover More Art