18 May through 13 July 2013

The Michael Werner Kunsthandel in Cologne is presenting an exhibition of erotic works by Sigmar Polke (* 1941 in Oels; + 2010 in Cologne) starting on 18 May. The gallery will show approx. 30 works on paper from a period between 1969 and 2000. The centrepiece of the exhibition is Sigmar Polke’s 1973 Edition for the Westfalian Art Association. The edition, which was offered in a draw to association members, was produced as 50 originals in a 100 x 70 format and includes specifically pornographic images. Since no photographs were taken, this unusual series has never been exhibited or published together. With the kind support of numerous loans form private and museum collections we have been able to bring together 20 of these original pieces including an important ensemble of works from the Bern Art Museum.

“The fifty carefully packaged gouaches by his hand arrived in Münster only slightly late. […]
I was not told beforehand what his Jahresgabe would look like. Not the technique, the format or the subject. I should brace myself for a surprise, was his laconic answer to my questions. The coup was successful. When the package from Willich had been unwrapped, I could hardly believe my eyes. I had never expected colorful gouaches in the generous format of 100 x 70 centimeters. I was so overwhelmed that I only discovered at second sight that Polke (and, to a degree that could not be ascertained, also Duchow) had used models with an erotic and even pornographic character, which he had applied as contours onto many, though not all, of the turbulent colored backgrounds, in changing stylistic patterns. These scenes were presumably meant to provoke people in the catholic city of Münster. This wonderful artist had a tendency to torture his friends.“ (extract from the catalogue text by Prof. Klaus Honnef)

A catalogue with a text by Prof. Klaus Honnef can be purchased during the exhibition.