In the 1970s,Polke turned to photography, using chemical staining to create works full of strange presences. Returning to painting in the 1980s, he maintained his interest in alchemical properties, experimenting with unconventional materials that introduce an element of chance which takes the work beyond the artist’s complete control. He also began using transparent fabrics and complex stretchers that remain visible in the finished work and become part of its composition.
Meteor II 1988
Polke soaked the fabric for this painting in resin to make it transparent, giving it the feel of a veil. He painted the coloured shapes on the back, so they show through as shadowy forms. The ones on either side almost mirror each other, while the large figure at the base takes the abstracted form of a goat’s head. Over these, Polke has drawn lines using a mineralised, luminous, white paint. The lines intersect with the underlying structure of the stretcher, which can be seen through the fabric.
View Meteor II in the collection