Kartoffelhaus (Potato House)


Wood, nails, potatoes

252.1 x 200 x 200 cm (99 1/4 x 78 3/4 x 78 3/4 in.)

Kartoffelhaus (Potato House) by Sigmar Polke is made from wooden slats with potatoes attached at regular intervals. It is not finished, only its structure is apparent.

The brownish appearance of the tuber seems to contradict the clean, straight design of the house, the sprouts that emerge question the future of the structure: how will it evolve? Will it form a wall of sprouted potatoes? Or will it start to decompose, recalling Urs Fischer’s bread house? The potato, a staple food in post-war Germany, is present in many of Polke’s works. The artist explains its use as an allegory: like creation, the potato endlessly produces sprout upon sprout.

The artist’s work in the Pinault Collection was presented at the Palazzo Grassi at the "Le Monde vous appartient" (“The World Belongs to You”) exhibition (2011-2012).