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German Artist and Capitalist Realism Movement Founder Sigmar Polke Dies at Age 69
German artist Sigmar Polke poses at the Kunsthaus Zurich. AP Photo / Keystone, Alessandro Della Bella.
COLOGNE.- Artist Sigmar Polke's gallery in London says the German painter has died at age 69.

The Michael Werner Gallery said Friday that Polke died the day before in Cologne following an illness.

Polke was a contemporary of Gerhard Richter, with whom he launched the capitalist realism movement in 1963 as a response to pop art. This prompted some to describe Polke as the anti-pop pop artist.

“In his anarchic paintings photographs and films Sigmar Polke established a language that made him one of the most important artists of the past 40 years. Like Warhol, he changed our understanding of the relationship between painting and photography. His use of images drawn from the press, popular culture and old master prints, coupled with a superb mastery of the silkscreen and the application of paint resulted in sublimely beautiful paintings, often with a tough message about society and its values. His work has been enormously influential on younger generations of artists. Tate Modern has been planning a large exhibition for a few years time and we hope that this will proceed.”- Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate.

Details about funeral arrangements were not immediately available.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Cologne | Sigmar Polke | The Michael Werner Gallery |

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June 12, 2010

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