Sigmar Polke. Girlfriends I (Freundinnen I). 1967

Sigmar Polke Girlfriends I (Freundinnen I) 1967

  • Not on view

In 1965 Polke stated (not without a dose of humor), “Believe it or not, I really see my surroundings as dots.” Polke’s view is reflected in one of his first forays into printmaking, Girlfriends I. Two young women appear within a field of black dots, confronting the viewer with defiant gazes and postures.

This print is part of a series of affordable art editions produced by Hannover’s Galerie h via offset lithography—an unusual choice for an art publisher, as offset printing was typically employed for commercial and advertising purposes. For his contribution, Polke invited the gallery’s founder, August Haseke, to choose an item from a drawer in the artist’s studio that was filled with photographs—many of them newspaper and magazine ads—that served as source images for his paintings. Polke typically used a slide projector or episcope to superimpose photographs onto large canvases, thereby enlarging and revealing the minute raster dots that created the image’s tonal gradations, which he then painted by hand. In this case, however, the source photograph for *Girlfriends I*—likely lifted from an ad for a film—was straightforwardly reproduced as a photolithograph, without any trace of intervention by the artist. While Polke’s paintings simulated the visual effects of mechanized offset printing, Girlfriends I remains true not only to the appearance of the original advertisement, but also to its commercial print process.

Publication excerpt from MoMA Highlights: 375 Works from The Museum of Modern Art, New York (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2019)
Medium
Offset lithograph
Dimensions
composition: 18 5/16 x 23 1/4" (46.6 x 59 cm); sheet: 18 1/2 x 23 7/8" (47 x 60.7 cm)
Publisher
Edition h, Hannover
Printer
Freimann and Fuchs, Hannover
Edition
150
Credit
Richard A. Epstein Fund
Object number
239.1984
Copyright
© 2021 Estate of Sigmar Polke / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, Germany
Department
Drawings and Prints

Installation views

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].

Licensing

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit https://www.moma.org/research-and-learning/circulating-film.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].

Feedback

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].