Victor Maldonado reviews an exhibition of works by Sigmar Polke from the Nicolas Berggruen Charitable Trust, recently on view at the Portland Art Museum, Oregon.
Maldonado writes that "what at first appears to be an arbitrary array of works, upon deeper study becomes a compelling pocket survey of Polke's prolific career... Polke's Proveidentia-Schleife still seems to have its way with us, like an ancient insect encased in resin suspended forever in time. Polke's tongue-and-cheek sensibility seems to enable a nimbleness usually missing from the experience of gazing onto the frozen faces of many paintings... [Polke's] canvases have a hold on loss and failure in a manner that is truly modern. It is a quality that any young artist should understand given the transient and decentralized nature of a contemporary global culture by the few, for the few. The beauty in his works is not classical in the sense of absolute truths and forms at rest, but rather of flexibility and resilience."