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German artist Polke dies after battle with cancer

One of Germany’s most important visual artists, Sigmar Polke, has died at the age of 69. Polke, who had been suffering from cancer, helped to found the capitalist realism movement making commentary on social issues.

Sigmar Polke

Polke combined several media to make social commentary

The painter and graphic designer Sigmar Polke died at his home in Cologne early on Friday, gallery operator, Erhard Klein, told the German news agency dpa. Polke, who had been suffering from cancer, was 69 years old.

Born in Lower Silesia, Polke and his family fled from the region when Germans were expelled at the end of World War II and eventually reached West Germany.

Together with the artist Gerhard Richter, Polke helped to found the capitalist realism movement.

Polke's work encompassed the combination of painting and photography, using various materials and often making social commentary on the social and historical issues.

Klein, one of several gallery operators who display Polke's works, said that Germany had lost one of its most "colorful personalities."

Author: Richard Connor (dpa/AFP)
Editor: Chuck Penfold

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