IMI KNOEBEL (° 1940, Dessau) is one of the most prominent, post-war German artists. In his artistic practice he resolutely opts for geometric abstraction and playful variants, which find expression through various media. From drawing, painting and sculpture to photography, projection and installation. As heir of Malevich, Mondriaan and the Bauhaus, he investigates the fundamentals of painting: form, color and material – and their relation to architecture. Remarkable are his choice for minimal compositions, his deliberate – subtle or just very commanding – use of color and his exploration of basic materials such as aluminum. One of his most legendary works is ‘Raum 19’ (1968), a gigantic installation consisting of elementary basic forms in wood and fibreboard, which he designed as a student and pupil of Joseph Beuys. In addition, his stained-glass windows (realized in 2011 and 2015) for the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Reims, France, are world-famous.
* Imi Knoebel is born as Wolf Knoebel. His first name ‘Imi’ dates from the second half of the sixties. Together with his good friend Rainer Giese he formed the radical artist duo ‘Imi&Imi’. Imi is an abbreviation of ‘Ich mit Ihm’, an ironic reference to their admiration for avant-garde artist Malevich, with whom they identified. Imi was also the name of an East German washing detergent sold with the slogan ‘a guarantee for uncompromising purity’.
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The work of Imi Knoebel has been recognized with several awards, including Officier des Arts et des Lettres, Haus der Stiftungen, Düsseldorf, Germany (2016); Kythera-Prize, Düsseldorf, Germany (2011); Glass Windows, Notre-Dame Cathedral in Reims, Reims, France (2008) and Honorary doctor of the Friedrich Schiller Universität, Jena, Germany (2006).
Imi Knoebel had solo shows at dozens of places. We list the most important ones: Imi Knoebel, Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zürich, Switzerland (2018); Bilder, Sculpturenpark Waldfrieden, Wuppertal, Germany (2017); Tisch des Monats, (with Olga Lina Knoebel), Hetjens Deutsches Keramikmuseum, Düsseldorf, Germany (2017); Inauguration of Imi Knoebel’s glass windows for the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Reims, Reims, France (2015); Imi Knoebel. Works 1966 – 2014, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg, Germany (2014); Der dritte Raum. Trze ci Pokój. The Third Room – Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany (2012); Design of the gothic windows for the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Reims, Reims, France (2011); Just love me, MUDAM – Musée d’art moderne grand-duc Jean, Luxembourg, Luxembourg (2010); ZU HILFE, ZU HILFE…, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany (2009); Imi Knoebel, Works 1968-1996 – Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands (1996); Imi Knoebel: Menningebilder 1976–1992, Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany (1992); Broken Music – Musée d´art contemporain de Montréal, Montréal, Canada (1988); Documenta 8, Kassel, Germany (1987); Documenta 7, Kassel, Germany (1982); Art in Europe after ’68 – SMAK Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Gent, Belgium (1980); Documenta 6, Kassel, Germany (1977) and Documenta 5, Kassel, Germany (1972).
Works by Imi Knoebel have been purchased by collections worldwide: Museum der Moderne, Salzburg, Austria; Albertina, Vienna, Austria; Fonds Regional d’Art Contemporain (FRAC) Nord-Pas de Calais, Dunkerque, France; Musée d’Art Contemporain Lyon, Lyon, France; Musée de Grenoble, Grenoble, France; Deutsche Bank Collection, Frankfurt, Germany; Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin, Germany; Julia Stoschek Collection, Düsseldorf, Germany; Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn, Germany; K21, Düsseldorf, Germany; Museum Frieder Burda, Baden-Baden, Germany; Sammlung Goetz, Munich, Germany; Städtisches Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach, Germany; Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Toyota Aichi, Japan; Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg, Luxembourg; Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht, The Netherlands; Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Hague, The Netherlands; National Museum of Contemporary Art Korea, Gwacheon, South Korea; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain; Malmö Konsthall, Malmö, Sweden; Fotomuseum Winterthur, Winterthur, Switzerland; Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland; Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA, USA; Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NY, USA.
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