Links Between Artist and Sigmar Polke Work Untitled (Square 2) at the Tate Modern

Untitled (Square 2) 2003 Sigmar Polke 1941-2010 Purchased with assistance from Tate Members, Noam and Geraldine Gottesman and private donors courtesy of the American Patrons of Tate 2004

Sigmar Polker ‘ Untitled (Square 2)’

My first reactions to seeing this painting was how religious and structured the painting was. The silkscreen printed image of the 5 naked figures all moving up to the sky holding goblets links to the work of the DADA artist Francis Picabia.

Ota?ti 1930 Francis Picabia 1879-1953 Purchased with assistance from the Estate of Andre Deutsch and Tate Members 2005

Francis Picabia ‘Otaiti’ 1930

The movement of the figures at the angle pointing up to the sky mirrors that of the illustration of the angel with its wing pointing to the stair way to heaven. Picabia work is linked to Max Ernst as he was one of the founders of DADA and his painting Forest links to Polker work due to the stairs pointing up to the sky abit like the naked figures being glided up the mountain buy the angle.


Max Ernst ‘Forest’

Diagram Polke

Polke has used many contrasting techniques in the painting screen-printing, painting, drips and also illustration. These contrast give a dynamic movement to the image. The composer John Adams composition Shaker Loops is layered like this image he used contrasting techniques in a string quartet rather than the use of multi media.I feel that the painting is not structured in a usual manner eg. Foreground and background which is similar to Stan Brakhage films because he did not care about plot lines and finishes in his films and wanted the viewer to be confused which links to Polke work. The colours in Sigmar Polke painting are bold and contrasting the use of the Gold dripping paint references the work of religious painting. Also the colour and movement the brush strokes make are similar to Len Lye videos Kaleidoscope, A Colour Box and Colour Flight.

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 15.38.54

Len Lye Kaleidoscope


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