Kunsthalle Hamburg

Saw a superb Sigmar Polke show yesterday, focussing on his work from the seventies. I've always been well into his paintings, but what made the exhibition so much more fascinating was all the context. There was a wall size display case full of contemporaneous record sleeves, flyers, underground comics (one called Middle Class Fantasies looked very funny) and the like, most of which were new to me, and I was poring over all that for a good half hour. Also what I found very inspiring was the group aspect of his work, Polke and his friends would swap stencils and images so recurrent motifs would emerge across a few artists' output, there was no insularity at all, something I am very guilty of.

A room was given over to beanbags and projections of super 8 film from one of the Dusseldorf gang's trips to New York, with a looped soundtrack of stuff like Here Comes Success and the Anglo-German version of Heroes, probably one of my favourite pieces of music ever. Also really interesting was the performance based things they got up to, lots of big parties with saucy seventies german art girls doing knife throwing acts and onetime members of Kraftwerk doing erotic shows. Looked like a right laugh.

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