'A Picture of War is Not War', we read in Hito Steyerl's iconic film November (2004), an essayistic Super 8 film tackling the definition of terrorism constructed around the figure of the artist's best friend Andrea Wolf, who was killed as a terrorist in 1998 in Eastern Anatolia after she joined the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party). Mixing documentary...
There has been a flurry of triennial and biennial art activity in Japan this year. The Aichi Triennale opened in Nagoya this August, sparking a national debate about the shutting down of a display of formerly censored works—the result of public backlash against a burnt image of Emperor Hirohito and a statue commemorating the women forced into...
Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...
‘I think painting is a resilient practice; if you look through the history of painting it doesn’t change so much and we always see it in the present. It is still now.’— Günther Förg
Hauser & Wirth is delighted to announce participation in the first edition of Taipei Dangdai, with a solo booth of Günther Förg (1952–2013), one of the most significant German artists of the postwar generation. In the breadth of his production, from monochrome painting to colour studies, from photography to wall paintings, from bronze reliefs to sculptures, Förg explored what critic Kristy Bell describes as ‘the visual field,’ swiftly moving between and changing mediums with an abruptness that so characteristically defined the artist and his work.
Themed ‘Waterfront’, the presentation is comprised of over 30 works sourced directly from the Estate, including Förg’s renowned Grid Paintings, rarely exhibited Grey Paintings, and a series of Miniature Paintings to be shown for the first time in Asia. Using the language of abstraction in his painting practice, Förg appropriated tropes borrowed from modern art and architecture in unceasing transformations of colour, form and composition, imitating or reacting against gestures or principles of picture-making that he would push to limitations or extremes and then employ anew.
Günther Förg’s career began in the early 1970s as a student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, where he studied from 1973 to 1979. Witnessing Cy Twombly’s paintings motivated Förg to produce one new painting each week over a period of three years. Priming his canvas in black, layers of paint were applied using a sponge to create an emulsified effect in tonal shades of grey. These works, referred to as the Grey Paintings, grounded Förg’s practice and laid the foundation for the artist’s entire oeuvre, demonstrating the beginnings of a lifelong commitment to a conceptual and serial-matic approach to art-making.
In the late 1990s and 2000s, Förg’s work shifted away from the monochromatic to reveal an interest in colour and form. The Grid Paintings begun in 2005, the grid emerges from the brushstroke itself. Expressive and gestural, different colours comprise the loose and irregular cross hatching of Förg’s wobbly lines that hint at architectural allusions–a building, a window, a landscape. Moving into his late career, the Grid Paintings, command a similar freedom of form and sensuality, incorporating a brighter palette and more expressive hand.
From 2003 to 2007, Günther Förg also produced a series of Miniature Paintings, which could be described as ‘miniatures’ of his already existing large-scale paintings. This series occurred in/after a period when Förg was looking for new ways and reconsidering his artistic practice since 2000. Self-reflection is an essential part for the Miniature Paintings. By transforming the existing large-scale paintings to a small-scale work on wood, Förg converted conventional artistic procedures that start with the smaller draft or the maquette.
In June 2018, the gallery announced its worldwide exclusive representation of the Estate of Günther Förg. In working with the Estate, the gallery’s goal is to introduce Förg’s contributions to wider audiences and new generations internationally through exhibitions, the commissioning of new scholarship and research, and by supporting publication of the catalogue raisonné. Hauser & Wirth will also present its first exhibition devoted to Förg in the United States in January 2019.
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