Spotlight: Günther Förg’s experimental approach to abstraction will be questioned in Munich


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About the artist: German abstract artist Günther Förg (1952-2013) created a diverse oeuvre that includes painting, sculpture, photography, drawing, printmaking, and more. Incorporating stylistic elements of 20th-century formalism and informed by modern considerations of space, the artist synthesized both new and old modes and ideas into his own inimitable visual language. Förg’s work is also distinctly experimental, using unusual mediums and exploring different themes; One of the artist’s most notable series, known as the Lead Paintings, unlocked the potential of the chemical element as an art medium, lending both visual and physical weight to the painted works. Förg was a professor at the Munich Academy of Fine Arts and his work has been exhibited worldwide.

Why we like it: In the monographic exhibition “Günther Förg” in the Thomas Gallery, exemplary works from three decades of the artist’s work bear witness to his breadth and craftsmanship. canvases like Rivoli (1989) evoke mid-century abstract color field painting and are juxtaposed with delicate, even romantic, landscape-inspired watercolors from the 2000s; A collection of painted diptychs and triptychs from different decades shows how Förg returned to certain styles or formats, but with constantly evolving ideas and approaches. Overall, the exhibition demonstrates both the artist’s knowledge and understanding of art history and his competence in dealing with traditional and modern media.

According to gallery: “Since Günther Förg is certainly one of the most important German painters of the last decades, we are pleased to show paintings from the last 30 years that give a good insight into Förg’s artistic work. We can present examples of his famous lead paintings (particularly a beautiful triptych from 1986), his so-called window paintings and relatively early paintings from the 1980s, which reflect his approach to working with architecture and defining space through his painting. Especially the large format Rivoli from 1989, which he created for a solo exhibition at the Castello di Rivoli, belongs to this group of paintings that attempt to shape the surrounding space. And, typical of Förg, she combines geometric and gestural abstraction.” —Jörg Paal, director, Galerie Thomas

See works from the exhibition below.

Gunther Foerg, Untitled (triptych) (1986). Courtesy of Galerie Thomas.

Gunther Foerg, Rivoli (1989). Courtesy of Galerie Thomas.

Gunther Foerg, Ghent series (1998). Courtesy of Galerie Thomas.

Gunther Foerg, Untitled (2006). Courtesy of Galerie Thomas.

Installation view “Günther Förg.” Courtesy of Galerie Thomas.

“Günther Förg” can be seen at Galerie Thomas in Munich until October 15, 2022.

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