GÜNTHER FÖRG (1952 – 2013) is considered one of the most influential artists to emerge from the postwar German art scene. Known for his experimental and radical approach, the artist presents an oeuvre that embodies a critique of the canon of modern art. Attracted by Günther Förgs tough ‘no nonsense’-attitude and his disarmingly straightforward, unique work, Deweer Gallery already exhibited his work in 1991, on the occasion of the group exhibition ‘To Return To Base’. This was followed by various group shows and three solo exhibitions: in 1995 and 2000 (with catalogue) and in 2013. This last solo exhibition is special for many reasons. Günther Förg, already seriously ill, drew the scenography of the exhibition himself from his home in Germany. The relationship between the works of art and the surrounding space was crucial for Förg. The architectural surroundings form an integral part of the presentation of his work.
Even though Günther Förg has made important contributions to both architectural photography and sculpture, he is primarily recognized worldwide as one of the most eminent painters of the past 30 years. This exhibition focuses on Förg’s contribution to painting and drawing. Förg masterfully showcased the essence of colour, for example by placing bold and muted colours side by side. Günther Förg presents colour as a very sensual impulse in our life. Striking also is his research into the importance of gestures that make the colour sensation possible and the importance and possibilities of the carrier, from lead and copper to cotton and paper, and the influence of matter on the effect of a particular colour.
The oldest exhibited work of art dates from 1991, the year Förg visited and photographed the modern architecture of the Bauhaus school in Dessau. The ideals of the Bauhaus, such as the use of simple and clear lines and the reduced, functional forms of their architecture, as well as the Bauhaus philosophy and more specifically the evaluation of the current state of affairs in the arts, have had a deep influence on the works of Günther Förg. Remarkable is his obsession with windows and the possibilities of window frames, which reoccur as a motif in the grid-like structures and the concentrated networks of thick brushstrokes that characterize his window paintings and grid paintings. Sometimes the brushstrokes suggest bars or a balcony balustrade. It is always through windows that we look at the space behind. The painterly gesture evinces the absolute artistic freedom of the artist. Förg challenges us to look beyond the form, to the essence of colours and the creativity and virtuosity of his haunting paintings.
Since January 2018, the Estate Günther Förg is represented by Hauser & Wirth. It is their mission to work on furthering Förg’s reputation in Asia and the United States.
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The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam presented a retrospective exhibition ‘Günther Förg A Fragile Beauty’, until October 14, 2018. This exhibition traveled to the Dallas Museum of Art. Günther Förg had solo exhibition in the Deichtorhallen (Hamburg, Germany, 2015), Fundación Luis Sloane (Coruña, Spain, 2014-2015), Museum Brandhorst (Munich, Germany, 2014), Fondation Beyeler (Riehen/Basel, Switzerland, 2009-2010), the Essl Museum (Klosterneu-burg/Vienna, Austria, 2008), the Langen Foundation (Neuss, Germany, 2007) and the Museum für Gegenwartskunst (Basel, Switzerland, 2006), amongst others.
Works of Günther Förg are included in major museum and private collections worldwide, among others in the collection of Neue Galerie Graz – Universalmuseum Joanneum, Graz, Austria; Essl Museum, Klosterneuburg, Austria; IKOB – Museum für Zeitgenössische Kunst Eupen, Belgium; S.M.A.K. the Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art, Ghent, Belgium; National Gallery of Canada – Musée des beaux-arts du Canada, Ottawa, Canada; FRAC – Picardie, Amiens, France; FRAC – Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Marseille, France; Carré d´art – Musée d´art contemporain de Nîmes, France; Musée Départemental d’Art Contemporain de Rochechouart, France; Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin, Germany; Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany; MKM Museum Küppersmühle für Moderne Kunst, Duisburg, Germany; Museum für Moderne Kunst (MMK), Frankfurt am Main, Germany; Städtisches Museum, Frankfurt am Main, Germany; Städtische Galerie Karlsruhe, Germany; Museum Kurhaus Kleve, Germany; Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus & Kunstbau, Munich, Germany; Städtisches Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach, Germany; Trevi Flash Art Museum Of Contemporary Art, Italy; Museo d´arte contemporanea Castello di Rivoli, Turin, Italy; MUDAM, Luxembourg, Luxembourg; Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Museu d´Art Contemporani de Barcelona – MACBA, Spain; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía – MNCARS, Madrid, Spain; Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland; Museum für Gegenwartskunst – Emanuel Hoffmann-Stiftung, Basel, Switzerland; Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, Switzerland; Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland; Proje4L/Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art, Istanbul, Turkey; Tate Britain, London, Great-Britain; Tate Modern, London, Great-Britain; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA; MoMA – Museum of Modern Art, New York City, USA; Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Saint Louis, USA; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art – SFMOMA, San Francisco, USA and Broad Contemporary Art Museum, Santa Monica, USA.
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