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4th Kochi-Muziris Biennale: Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life Ocula Report 4th Kochi-Muziris Biennale: Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life 15 Feb 2019 : Natalie King for Ocula

'Poems are like sentences that have taken their clothes off.' Marlene Dumas' poetic and sensual refrain accompanies her figurative watercolours on view in Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life, the fourth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) in the southern state of Kerala, India (12 December 2018–29 March 2019).Dumas' new series...

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Ellen Altfest Ocula Conversation Ellen Altfest

The paintings of Ellen Altfest are ethereal in their detail. Fields of minutiae come together as pulsating images; small brushstrokes of oil paint accumulate over a series of months to single out seemingly innocuous subjects, such as a hand resting atop patterned fabric (The Hand, 2011) or a deep green cactus reaching upwards from beneath a bed of...

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Colomboscope 2019: Cross Currents and Dissonance Ocula Report Colomboscope 2019: Cross Currents and Dissonance 8 Feb 2019 : Nada Raza for Ocula

On the rooftop of the former Rio Hotel complex in Colombo, it was hard to ignore the high-rise buildings, still under construction, blocking all but a sliver of what used to be an open view over Slave Island, once an island on Beira Lake that housed slaves in the 19th century, and now a downtown suburb. The hotel was set alight during the...

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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

View All (25)
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 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
Position #5 by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork Imi KnoebelPosition #5, 2008 Acrylic on aluminium
115 x 86 x 6.5 cm
Galerie Christian Lethert
BIG GIRL C.2 by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork Imi KnoebelBIG GIRL C.2, 2018 Acrylic on aluminium
33.2 x 41.9 x 3 cm
Galerie Christian Lethert

Current & Recent Exhibitions

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

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