Cloud Paintings, 1992
  • © Fondation Louis Vuitton / Martin

    Argyroglo © The Estate of Sigmar Polke, Cologne /


The "Cloud Paintings" (1992-2009) consists of four large paintings — identical in size, almost monochrome, on semi-transparent silk canvas which reveals the frame behind— and a meteorite.

Four billion years old, it was the third biggest found at Sikhote-Alin in Siberia, the site of a meteorite shower in February 1947. This extra-terrestrial object, placed on a plinth, is a concrete sign of the cosmic dimension inherent in the work, giving it an ethereal, immaterial quality. By combining it with the golden paintings featuring fragments of clouds in subtle variations, from transparent to translucent to opaque, Polke shows the whole scope of painting’s vocation to be understood as both a physical and a metaphysical experience.