Panorama, Lukrativer Handel mit der Luft by Sigmar Polke is the first work presented at MASSIMODECARLO Pièce Unique this year.
In the 1970’s Sigmar Polke abandoned painting for photography, which he took up while travelling to Afghanistan, India and Morocco. During this time, he explored the alchemical qualities of photography, testing the impact of substances, causing optical accidents, trying out chemical staining, resulting in strange presences and emanations in his pictures, which were recently exhibited in Paris at Le Bal in 2019.
When Polke returned to painting in the 1980’s he maintained his interest in these alchemical qualities, experimenting with pigments and substances that were quite toxic: using products that could flow and stain the canvas just as he had done with photography, he procduced some of his images by exposing photographic paper to radioactive rocks, resulting in strangely glowing images of ethereal presence. He also began using transparent fabrics and building complex stretchers that remained visible, becoming part of the composition.