The Curatorial Challenges of Sigmar Polke’s Potato-Based Works

April 22nd, 2014

The current Sigmar Polke retrospective at MoMA has posed interesting challenges to curators, namely how to maintain the artist’s Potato House (Kartoffelhaus) and Potato Drawing (Kartoffelzeichnung), which both incorporate real potatoes as a symbol of post-war Germany, and which are also subject to the tubers’ potential to decay.  “The potatoes are allowed to sprout,” says MoMA curatorial assistant Magnus Schaefer, but “if they’re beginning to rot, we have to replace them.” 

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