Günther Förg, Exhibition´s view
GÜNTHER FÖRG | New Paintings
It s now over thirty years since Günther Förg had his first solo exhibitions at the Beaux Arts Academy and the Rüdiger Schöttle Gallery in Munich; and the group of works now on display bear witness to the artist's maturity in the use of color as opposed to the monochrome palette he used in the past; and his staunch loyalty to pure art, which he practices outside the impositions of new technology and the artistic expressions that have been appropriated by contemporary art.
Within the realm of abstraction, Günther Förg has forged a highly personal repertoire which has, on several occasions, used architecture as a springboard. His paintings, which display colored patches and geometrical patterns, that are only tempered by vibrant color and the automatic bent of the painted stroke- a legacy of the abstract expressionists- remind us of the architectural skeletons of buildings waiting to be constructed or completed.
It is precisely his gridwork, the schemata resulting from the intersection of horizontal and vertical lines, that transports us to the realm of architecture, along with the fact that the artist leaves much of the canvass untouched, giving the work an unfinished and non-finite look, which is the main characteristic of his most recent works.
Förg's art is based on the conviction that form has an intrinsic value; thus his artistic output does not strive to be a faithful reproduction of reality. That is why it remains and-will always remain-within the plane of abstraction.
Landscapes muted by abstract painting form another significant part of his work, where watercolor predominates as another of the techniques the artist has experimented with. In reality, even though Günther Förg has not ventured into the wide range of materials used by contemporary painters, he has still endlessly sought different media to express his pure art- in painting and in sculpture- and in doing so, demonstrated remarkable technical skill.
What we are witnessing here is in fact a retrospective view of Förg's work that allows us to safely say that today, he has become an extremely accomplished artist who can well afford to trust his instincts. The nature of his compositions is guided along by the automatic nature of the act of painting. It is a natural impulse that bears witness to the creative freedom of the artist, who intuitively and spontaneously follows the rhythms imparted by his painting which is, in turn, spontaneous and enthralling. In the words of Rudi Fuchs, "The new paintings are triumphant in their uncanny abstraction. Also they made me realize that it had been always the artist's concern to remove defined or shaped figuration from his painted images 1"
1 Rudi Fuchs, Günther Förg, Back and Forth, Snoeck, 2008
However, we must also remember that, especially in his most recent works, Günther Förg's painting still reflects a well-planned rhythm, through the cadence of swaths of color and aptly placed intervals, even though the artist does not make use of a precise compositional plan. And the rhythm of these paintings depends so much on the energy of the brushstroke, that is oscillates in form and intensity- fragile, compact, or sudden, in quick moves that continue until the paint runs out. It also depends on the subtlety of the intervals that disappear, only to appear again. Thus, in the eye of the beholder, sequence continues to elude us; what catches our eye is only the irregularity marked by colored patches that nervously and restlessly float on the surface of the canvass.
A host of temperaments and affirmations of the brushstroke, infinite in their variety and rendering, which act in tandem with the artist's vibrant color palette (bold colored swaths that occasionally and/or accidentally meld together) grace Günther Förg's outwardly simple work with a freshness that is surprisingly new.
Günther Förg's work is on permanent display in a number of distinguished international collections such as: the National Gallery of Canada, Hamburger Bahnhof (Berlin), Deutsche Guggenheim (Berlin), Museo d´arte contemporanea Castello di Rivoli (Turin, Italy), MUDAM - Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean (Luxemburg), Fundación La Caixa - CaixaForum (Barcelona), Museu de Arte Contemporânea in Barcelona - MACBA (Barcelona), Fundación Telefónica, Madrid (Madrid), and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (USA).
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