The 'Uncertainty Principle' that physicist Werner Heisenberg established asserts that 'the more precisely that the position of an entity is determined, the less precisely its momentum is known'. Among the wider repercussions of this principle was the realisation that reality, as we perceive or understand it, is neither a fixed or stable phenomenon, but one that reveals itself only in a series of shifting contexts. Sigmar Polke has been one of the first artists to recognise this and to build an art based upon simultaneous and multiple views of reality collided within the fixed environment of the picture plane.
One of many fabric paintings in which Polke has painted mutliple images over the already printed imagery of an industrially printed fabric. Untitled is a work that mixes both imagery and media into a complex and humorous web of potential meaning. Largely intuitive in the way he applies and mixes his imagery - sometimes even responding to the prompts and influence of 'higher beings' - Polke has here outlined the figure of a graffiti-like naked woman over a domestic floral patterned fabric to create a puzzling and humorous conjunction of form and technique.
Following the innate irrationality established by physicists such as Heisenberg, Polke insists that his own apparently intuitive, light-hearted and anti-rational aesthetic is also a 'progressive scientific' method of exploration of reality. It is one which can no longer concern itself with boorish causalities or self-satisfied reasons but must focus instead upon relationships, since without relationships, even causality itself might just as well pack up and leave, and every reason would be without consequence.' (S. Polke in 'Early Influences, Later Consquences...' reproduced in Sigmar Polke - The Three Lies of Painting exh. cat., Berlin 1997. pp. 289-290)
In this 'scientific work' Polke insists, 'I concentrated upon the exploration of those relationships which genuinely bind things together, beyond their tendentious subdivision into "causes" and "effects"... This whole system of classifying things as causes and effects must come to an end. We must create a world of free and equal phenomena, a world in which things are finally allowed to form relationships once again, relationships liberated from the bonds of servile text-book causality and narrow-minded, finger-pointing consecution...[or] only in these relationships is it possible to find the true meaning and the true order of things...' (ibid).