Spotlight: Günther Förg’s Experimental Approach to Abstraction Investigated in Munich

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About the artist: German abstract artist Günther Förg (1952-2013) produced a large-scale work that encompasses painting, sculpture, photography, drawing, printmaking, etc. Incorporating stylistic elements of 20th century formalism and informed by modern considerations of space, the artist synthesized new and old fashions and ideas into his own inimitable visual language. Förg’s work is also distinctly experimental, featuring unusual mediums and exploring various themes; one of the artist’s most notable series, known as lead paints, unlocked the potential of the chemical element as an artistic medium, giving the painted works both visual and physical weight. Förg was a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and his work has been exhibited around the world.

Why we love it: In the monographic exhibition “Günther Förg” at Galerie Thomas, exemplary works from three decades of the artist’s career testify to his diversity and technical skill. paintings like Rivoli (1989) recall mid-century abstract Color Field painting and are juxtaposed with delicate, even romantic, landscape-inspired watercolors of the 2000s; a collection of painted diptychs and triptychs from different decades reveals how Förg returned to certain styles or formats but with ever-changing ideas and approaches. Overall, the exhibition demonstrates both the artist’s knowledge and understanding of art history as well as his mastery of traditional and modern mediums.

According to the Gallery: “As Günther Förg is certainly among the most important German painters of the last decades, we are happy to show paintings from the last 30 years which give a good insight into Förg’s pictorial oeuvre. We can present examples of his famous lead paintings (in particular a beautiful triptych from 1986), his so-called window paintings and relatively old paintings from the 1980s which reflect his approach to working with architecture and the definition of space with his painting. In particular, the large format Rivoli from 1989, which he created for a personal exhibition at the Castello di Rivoli, belongs to this group of paintings which attempt to shape the surrounding space. And, very characteristic for Förg, it combines both geometric and gestural abstraction. —Jörg Paal, Director, Galerie Thomas

See the works in the exhibition below.

Gunther Forg, Ohne Titel (triptych) (1986). Courtesy of Galerie Thomas.

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

Gunther Forg, Gender Series (1998). Courtesy of Galerie Thomas.

Gunther Forg, Title (2006). Courtesy of Galerie Thomas.

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

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

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