b. 1940, Germany

Imi Knoebel Artworks

Made from simple materials and with 'pure perception' as their guiding ethos, Imi Knoebel's paintings and installations communicate sentiments across form and colour.

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Installations

While studying under Beuys, Knoebel made Raum 19 (1968). Named after his studio at the time, this large-scale installation consists of 184 pieces of wood and fibreboard, including frames, cylinders, and cubes, which can be stacked, layered, and reconfigured in multiple ways.

Unpainted and untreated, Raum 19 paved the way for the neutral, pared-down works that would follow, all of which would prioritise form over idea. In the artist's own words: 'When I am asked about what I think when I look at a painting ... I look at it and can only take in the beauty, and I don't want to see it in relation to anything else.'

White Paintings

During his studies, Knoebel grew more interested in high modernist principles, including the relationship between space, pictorial space, and colour.

Accordingly, Knoebel's early work included light projections and pure white paintings like Weisse Konstellation (1975/1987), four acrylic boards painted white and stacked diagonally atop one another against a wall.

Coloured Sentiment

Later geometric paintings like the 'Kinderstern' ('Star for Children') series (1988—ongoing), which includes imperfect star shapes painted bright colours, depart from a strictly reductionist stance through the addition of colour while retaining the simplicity of familiar forms, recreating a toy block a child could play with.

Just as understated, An meine Grüne Seite 07-29 (2007), a white tent-like construction made from two boards propped against each other with the interior painted orange, appears almost sculptural in nature as it renounces the boundaries of the canvas.

Knife Cut Paintings

Knoebel is further known for his 'Messerschnitt' ('Knife Cut') paintings, a distinct painting style on paper that results in a cacophony of abstract shapes rendered in complementary colours, each partaking a dialogue with the next without ever touching the other.

Amongst them, Messerschnitt (1977) depicts morsels of brown aside curling red strips and hybrid triangles painted pink, showing the odd shapes in perfect harmony against a white background.

Later Work

In Knoebel's work, shape and colour alike arouse sentiments of liveliness and nostalgia in the viewer, which are emphasised by the simplicity of the artist's subject matter.

Resulting works like LUEB Go 1276w (2013), strips of colour plastered on a pink oval aluminium board, hint at a sense of playfulness while offering a sober contemplation of visual and formal interactions through its careful composition.

Browse Artworks
Kadmiumrot I I1-I3 by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork sculpture
Imi Knoebel Kadmiumrot I I1-I3, 1975-2018 Acrylic on wood
186 x 319 cm
White Cube Contact Gallery
Papilio by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork painting, mixed media
Imi Knoebel Papilio, 2004 Acrylic, aluminium, synthetic foil
Dep Art Gallery Contact Gallery
Messerschnitt VI by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Imi Knoebel Messerschnitt VI, 1977 Acrylic on paper
100 x 70 cm
Dep Art Gallery Contact Gallery
Tafel DCLXXXIX by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork painting
Imi Knoebel Tafel DCLXXXIX, 2016 Acylic on aluminium, wood
14.7 x 10.4 x 3.1 cm
Dep Art Gallery Contact Gallery
Tafel DCLXXIII by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork painting, sculpture
Imi Knoebel Tafel DCLXXIII, 2016 Acylic on aluminium, wood
14.7 x 10.4 x 3.1 cm
Dep Art Gallery Contact Gallery
Tag und Nacht III E1-E5 by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork painting, sculpture
Imi Knoebel Tag und Nacht III E1-E5, 1998 Acrylic on aluminium
16 x 100 x 3.5 cm
Dep Art Gallery Contact Gallery
Nummer 9B-15B by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork painting, sculpture
Imi Knoebel Nummer 9B-15B, 2012 Acrylic on aluminium
45.1 x 301.4 x 1 cm
Dep Art Gallery Contact Gallery
DIN II A1-A4 by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork painting, sculpture
Imi Knoebel DIN II A1-A4, 1994 Acrylic on aluminium on wood
36.7 x 132.5 x 8 cm
Dep Art Gallery Contact Gallery
Untitled by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Imi Knoebel Untitled, 1985 Oil, gesso and découpage on fibreboard
202 x 172 cm
SETAREH Contact Gallery
Senzatitolo 4 Ed. by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Imi Knoebel Senzatitolo 4 Ed., 2009/2011 Acrylic painted on synthetic paper
27 x 23 cm
Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder Contact Gallery
Tafel DCCXXVI by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork painting
Imi Knoebel Tafel DCCXXVI, 2016 Acrylic on aluminium, wood
294 x 19 x 4 cm
Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder Contact Gallery
Untitled by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork works on paper, drawing
Imi Knoebel Untitled, 1972 Graphite on paper
296 x 21 cm
Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder Contact Gallery
Tafel CDXCII by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork painting, sculpture
Imi Knoebel Tafel CDXCII, 2006–2019 Acrylic on aluminium
1542 x 99 x 8 cm
Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder Contact Gallery
Element 31.2 by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork painting
Imi Knoebel Element 31.2, 2018 Acrylic on aluminium
43.8 x 31.7 x 1 cm
Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder Contact Gallery
Position 7 by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork painting
Imi Knoebel Position 7, 2008 Acrylic on aluminium
115 x 86 x 6.5 cm
Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder Contact Gallery
Tafel DCCLXXXVIII by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork painting
Imi Knoebel Tafel DCCLXXXVIII, 2016 Acrylic on aluminium, wood
26.4 x 19 x 4 cm
Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder Contact Gallery
Senzatitolo 5 Ed. by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork mixed media
Imi Knoebel Senzatitolo 5 Ed., 2009/2011 Acrylic painted on plastic foil
27 x 23 cm
Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder Contact Gallery
Ouroboros by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork painting
Imi Knoebel Ouroboros, 2016 Acrylic on aluminium
185.5 x 214.5 x 4.5 cm
Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder Contact Gallery
Monochrome Pyrrole by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork painting
Imi Knoebel Monochrome Pyrrole, 2016 Acrylic on aluminium
208 x 166.8 x 4.5 cm
Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder Contact Gallery
Treulose Realität by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork mixed media
Imi Knoebel Treulose Realität, 2005 Acrylic on aluminium, plastic film
285.3 x 290 x 7.4 cm
Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder Contact Gallery
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