Laterna Magica

Sigmar Polke


Installation, 5 x (100 x 100 cm).
Materials: lacquer on transparant synthetic fabric in artist frame

Collection: Deutsche Apotheker - und Artzebank, Düsseldorf.

With the pentaptych Laterna Magica from 1995, Luc Tuymans chooses an iconic work by the German painter-photographer Sigmar Polke. With his Lanterna Magica, Polke refers directly to the magic lantern; the magic device with which one could project painted images on a wall using a lens and a candle flame. Although it is claimed that Leonardo da Vinci already experimented with an early forerunner of the magic lantern during the Italian Renaissance, the invention is attributed to the Dutch physicist Christiaan Huygens and dated about 1654. In the constellation of Sanguine/Bloedrood, Luc Tuymans places Polke's pentaptych central in the space opposite to the portraits of Anthony van Dyck and Adriaen Brouwer. The pentaptych consists of painted panels on transparent carriers that pull the viewer into an elusive scene. Luc Tuymans considers his choice for the Laterna Magica an evident one, since Sigmar Polke, as an artist, always creates political links between social imagery and alchemy, expressed through the transparency of the paint. The double images are intended to upturn the perception of the viewer.

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