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  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Untitled (sketchbook 16); one of twenty-nine drawings in watercolour on unnumbered pages of lined exercise book with blue cover, seven accompanied on opposite page by cuttings from illustrated magazines. c.1969

  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1969 (c.)
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 209 millimetres (single page)
    • Width: 145 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Unsigned, undated; typed label with word 'Polke' on cover of notebook; larger label below inscribed in brown ink '16.'
  • Curator's comments

    This work was recorded as Duerckheim PS033. 01-29 in donor's collection.

    Text from John-Paul Stonard, 'Germany Divided: Baselitz and his generation. From the Duerckheim Collection', London: British Museum Press, 2014,

    Twenty-nine watercolour line drawings show a range of strange abstract and figurative imagery. Certain drawings are placed alongside source material - advertisements and images from magazines, although they are transformed and made mysterious. As Katherine Schmidt has described: 'In the period from 1965 to 1970 [Polke] filled well over thirty stenographer's notebooks and exercise books with drawings and watercolours of all kinds, which, despite the variety among the individual sheets, are seen today as a significant component of his oeuvre.... Studies done in the evening, sketches for ideas, first jottings, musings on specific plans for exhibitions, word games, and excerpts - these things fill the flimsy sheets of graph paper. [...] Other, perfectly worked-through books contain in the sum of their rhythmic pages the Polke universe in a nutshell. [...] Numerous themes and motifs, which are familiar in Polke's paintings, are found in their first formulation here' (K. Schmidt, 'Arrows into the storm: observations on the drawings, watercolours and sketchbooks of Sigmar Polke', in San Francisco 1990, pp. 35-43).

    Thirty-nine sketchbooks, including cats 72 and 73, were exhibited at the 1988 retrospective of Polke's work at
    the Kunstmuseum, Bonn.


  • Location

    Not on display (242.a.35)

  • Exhibition history

    2016, July-Nov, London, BM, "On Not Knowing: The Bridget Riley Art Foundation and Central Saint Martins at the British Museum".

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Credit line: 'Presented by Count Christian Duerckheim'

  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • PS033. 01-29 (Duerckheim collection number)

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Object reference number: PDO391267

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