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Havana Biennial 2019: Constructing the Possible Ocula Report Havana Biennial 2019: Constructing the Possible 17 Apr 2019 : Federica Bueti for Ocula

I first visited Havana in November 2016, a few days after Fidel Castro died, and just under a year before Hurricane Irma hit Cuba in September 2017. Since then, much has changed, including the hand-painted signs that punctuate the journey from the airport to the city centre, which today do not celebrate the revolution so much as the 'Unidad y...

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Andrew Stahl and Guo Xiaohui Ocula Conversation Andrew Stahl and Guo Xiaohui

The exhibition Beyond Boundaries at Somerset House in London (12 March–2 April 2019) marked the historic contributions of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, on the occasion of their 100th and 150th anniversaries, respectively. Spread across several rooms of Somerset House's...

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The National 2019: New Australian Art Ocula Report The National 2019: New Australian Art 13 Apr 2019 : Elyse Goldfinch for Ocula

The National 2019: New Australian Art features work by 70 contemporary Australia-based artists split across three venues: the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) (29 March–21 July 2019), as curated by Isobel Parker Philip, curator of photographs at AGNSW; Daniel Mudie Cunningham,...

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Imi Knoebel

b. 1940, Germany

Born 1940 in Dessau, lives and works in Düsseldorf

Imi Knoebel studied at the Werkkunstschule (School of Applied Arts) Darmstadt 1962–1964, after which he was a student in Joseph Beuys’ class at the Kunstakademie (Academy of Art) Düsseldorf.

Imi Knoebel is one of the most well-known abstract artists worldwide. He developed his fundamentally abstract vocabulary of forms already while studying at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. In his room-filling installation Raum 19 (1968), which now stands out as a key work in his oeuvre, he layered pieces of hardboard on top of each other in an investigation of the relationship between forms and planes in space. During the same time, Knoebel was also working on a series of line pictures based on a radical reduction of painting (inspired by Kasimir Malevich’s Black Square from 1915), with the goal of fundamentally redefining the notion of the picture. In addition to creating light projections, Knoebel worked with the 'non' colours black and white and unpainted hardboard panels until 1975, after which he turned to the qualities of pure colour, in a reference to Blinky Palermo. He then created a series of plywood panels in free forms that were painted in monochrome colours. For his Mennigebilder (red lead pictures), he also used rust-proofing paint, which (like his hardboard panels) is an industrial product. Since the 1990s, Knoebel has also been using aluminium as a medium for colour.

The bright and luminous colour pictures and objects in his current phase complement and expand on issues that can already be found in his earlier work. In his continuous reinterpretation of the entire spectrum of his vocabulary of non-representational forms, Knoebel relies on the principle of layering individual elements in constantly new variations, pictures, and spatial compositions.

A retrospective of Imi Knoebel’s work from 1968 to 1996 was shown at the Haus der Kunst, Munich; the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; the IVAM, Valencia; the Kunsthalle, Düsseldorf, and the Musée de Grenoble in 1996/1997. The Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg also held a Knoebel retrospective in 2014 with works from 1966 to 2014. Further selected solo exhibitions include: 2015 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen K21 Ständehaus, Düsseldorf; 2015 Museum Haus Esters, Krefeld; 2014 Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg; 2009 Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin; 2009 Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin; 2008 Dia:Beacon, New York; 2007 Wilhelm-Hack-Museum, Ludwigshafen. Imi Knoebel participated in the documenta in Kassel in 1972, 1977, 1982, and 1987.

In 2006, Imi Knoebel was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Jena. He received the Kythera Award in 2011, the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2016. In 2008 Knoebel was commissioned to design the glass windows of the Reims cathedral, which were completed in 2011, followed by three more in 2015.

Imi Knoebel’s works can be found in many renowned museum collections all over the world, including the Bayrische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Munich; Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Dia:Beacon, New York; FNAC, Paris, Fundaçao de Serralves, Porto; Gemeentemuseum Den Haag; Kunstmuseum Basel; MoMA Museum of Modern Art, New York; Reina Sofia, Madrid; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Toyota.

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Featured Artworks

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Ouroboros by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork Imi KnoebelOuroboros, 2016 Acrylic on aluminium
185.5 x 214.5 x 4.5 cm
Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder
Eigentlich für Carmen by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork Imi KnoebelEigentlich für Carmen, 1999 Acrylic and fluorescent paint on aluminium
136.6 x 101.6 x 7.2 cm
Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder
Element 27.1 by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork Imi KnoebelElement 27.1, 2018 Acrylic on aluminium
35.2 x 39.1 x 1 cm
Galerie Christian Lethert
Element 25.2 by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork Imi KnoebelElement 25.2, 2018 Acrylic on aluminium
37.5 x 35.5 x 1 cm
Galerie Christian Lethert
Element 24.1 by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork Imi KnoebelElement 24.1, 2018 Acrylic on aluminium
39.8 x 46.2 x 1 cm
Galerie Christian Lethert
Hartfaserbild - 215x170 by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork Imi KnoebelHartfaserbild - 215x170, 1968/2017 Masonite, wood
215 x 170 x 8.6 cm
Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder
Monochrome Pyrrole by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork Imi KnoebelMonochrome Pyrrole, 2016 Acrylic on aluminium
208 x 166.8 x 4.5 cm
Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder
Treulose Realität by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork Imi KnoebelTreulose Realität, 2005 Acrylic on aluminium, plastic film
285.3 x 290 x 7.4 cm
Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder

Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Imi Knoebel, Imi Knoebel at Galerie Christian Lethert, Cologne
Closed
16 November 2018–23 February 2019 Imi Knoebel Imi Knoebel Galerie Christian Lethert, Cologne

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