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Richard Flood discusses Sigmar Polke's Frau Herbst und ihre zwei Töchter (Mrs. Autumn and Her Two Daughters) (1991)


Richard Flood


September 1999

Institution Walker Art Center
Sigmar Polke is probably the closest thing we have to a history painter in the latter part of the century, but the history is, as we have come to know history, not a clean narrative. It's a jumble of a lot of different kinds of information. It's what we perceive to be the fact, but it's also how the fact becomes enhanced by the fiction and how the fiction has a need to get more poetic in order not to have to be substantiated by further facts. So, you have this meta thing and, then, you put it on a transparent surface, this totally permeable skin, that is accepting light and at the same time dealing with the notion of illusionistic space, but in a very real architectural way, just lifting it off the wall, allowing you to see the support structure through it. I think his contribution is bigger than I'm describing. At the same time, it's amazing that people did not think of this earlier. It's kind of astounding. All of these things look quite simple. Was that a big idea? Actually, yes, it was a big idea. But did the big idea have to be complicated? Not really. I take great heart in that as well
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Type: Commentary, curatorial commentary
Source: Richard Flood, Chief Curator, Walker Art Center, commenting on Sigmar Polke's Frau Herbst und ihre zwei Töchter (Mrs. Autumn and Her Two Daughters) (1991), during the exhibition Art in Our Time: 1950 to the Present, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, September 1999.
Rights: Copyright 1999 Walker Art Center
Added to Site: March 1, 2009