German painter. After having finished his apprenticeship in painting stained glass, Polke began his studies under the guidance of Gerhard Hoehme and Karl-Otto Götz at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf (1961). In 1963, he put forward Social Realism as a response to Pop Art, exhibiting his first works in this genre in Düsseldorf. Influenced by Francis Picabia, the images related to Pop, presented in various combinations and executed according to diverse techniques became, from then on, standard elements in Polke´s work. He questioned and re-evaluated concepts of reproduction, copy, imitation and mimesis, being an artist and the rights of the same. Between 1970 and 1971, he was reader at the Hochschule für Bildende Kunst in Hamburg where he became a teacher in 1975. In 1972 and 1982, he took part in documenta 5 and 7, in Kassel. His taste for experiment, for stylistic changes, for contradiction and irony remained essential to his considerably innovative art. He has fixed on a classic-modern style but the materials and techniques used have been rather unusual.