Sigmar Polke was born in Oels in 1941. In 1959 he started a stained glass apprenticeship in Düsseldorf, before studying there from 1961 to 1967 at the art academy under Gerhard Hoehme and Karl Otto Götz. In 1963 he presented with Gerhard Richter, Konrad Lueg and Manfred Kuttner the performance and exhibition Leben mit Pop. Eine Demonstration für den kapitalistischen Realismus (Living with Pop: A Demonstration for Capitalist Realism) in the Düsseldorf furniture store Berges. Their Capitalist Realism was opposed to established art trends and among other things introduced aspects of Pop Art to Germany. Polke exhibited in 1972, 1977 and 1982 at documenta 5, 6 and 7 in Kassel. From 1977 to 1991 he taught at Hamburg’s art school, the Hochschule für bildende Künste. In 1986 he designed the German Pavilion at the 42nd Venice Biennale. In 2009 he completed his redesign of the church windows in Zurich’s Grossmünster. Polke received countless awards and exhibited internationally. He worked with all manner of materials, including decorator fabrics, and frequently took up mass-media and political issues. He also worked intensively with the possibilities of photography. Polke died in Cologne in 2010.