Text by Laszlo Glozer
In 1972, Sigmar Polke (1941–2010) moved into the Gaspelshof in Willich on the Lower Rhine, which soon became an artist commune. This place had a tremendous influence on Polke's output; from Willich he set off on numerous journeys with his wife, Katharina Steffen, and lived and worked among a group of friends.
Starting from Willich provides special insight into Polke's photographic work from the 1970s. With over 100 images, many never before published or exhibited, the volume offers a glimpse into Germany's 70s alternative scene and Polke's experimentation in the dark room, his forays into multiple exposure, solarisation, and chemical processing, yielding seemingly unreal, almost transcendental images. Many of these photographs feature masquerade scenes: friends in clown-like get-ups, and Polke himself spontaneously captured on film. This volume, with an essay by Laszlo Glozer, is a superb compendium of a pioneering body of photography.