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 GrĂ¼ne 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
Portrait F1 by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork painting
Imi Knoebel Portrait F1, 1992 Acrylic on wood
50 x 35 x 9 cm
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Dusseldorf - Paris VII by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork painting
Imi Knoebel Dusseldorf - Paris VII, 2001 Acryl on aluminium
34 x 24 cm
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Neue Liebe Ed. by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork painting, mixed media
Imi Knoebel Neue Liebe Ed., 2002/2021 Collage, acrylic on plastic film, painted
15 x 15 x 0.2 cm
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Anima Mundi 2023-2 by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork painting
Imi Knoebel Anima Mundi 2023-2, 2023 Acrylic on aluminium
46 x 36 x 6.8 cm
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Alte Liebe D 3 Ed. by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork painting, mixed media
Imi Knoebel Alte Liebe D 3 Ed., 2009/2021 Collage, acrylic on plastic film, painted
18 x 18 cm
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LLLILA by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork painting
Imi Knoebel LLLILA, 2002 Acrylic on aluminum
304.8 x 456.5 x 10.8 cm
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INNINN by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork painting
Imi Knoebel INNINN, 2002 Acrylic on aluminium
305 x 456.4 x 10.8 cm
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Figur Z2 50 by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork painting
Imi Knoebel Figur Z2 50, 2019 Acrylic on plastic film
100 x 70 cm
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BIG GIRL Kaph.3 by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork painting, works on paper, sculpture
Imi Knoebel BIG GIRL Kaph.3, 2020 Acrylic on aluminium
39.2 x 36.1 x 3 cm
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Untitled by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork works on paper, drawing
Imi Knoebel Untitled, 1974 Graphite, gouache on paper
29.7 x 21 cm
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Tafel 475 CDLXXV by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork painting, sculpture
Imi Knoebel Tafel 475 CDLXXV, 2019 Acrylic on aluminum, wood
35.7 x 25.4 x 4.3 cm
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1000Hasen by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork sculpture
Imi Knoebel 1000Hasen, 2021 Copper sheet, water jet cutting technique
26 x 18 x 0.8 cm
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Voyager I Ed. by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Imi Knoebel Voyager I Ed., 1996/2018 Acrylic on plastic film
48 x 50 cm
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Figura He by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork painting
Imi Knoebel Figura He, 2020 Acrylic on aluminum
246.5 x 183.6 x 4.5 cm
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Mennigebild 31/54 by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork painting
Imi Knoebel Mennigebild 31/54, 1976/2021 Ivory black on wood
249.2 x 218.6 x 9 cm
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Figura Ypsilon by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork painting
Imi Knoebel Figura Ypsilon, 2019 Acrylic on aluminum
236 x 184.8 x 4.5 cm
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Position 4.6 by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork painting
Imi Knoebel Position 4.6, 2012 Acrylic on aluminum
115 x 86 x 6.5 cm
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Bild 08.04.2014 by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork painting
Imi Knoebel Bild 08.04.2014, 2014 Acrylic on aluminum
226.8 x 210 x 4.5 cm
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Bild 29.11.2019 -4 by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork painting
Imi Knoebel Bild 29.11.2019 -4, 2019 Acrylic on aluminum
143.4 x 117.1 x 4.5 cm
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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
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Papilio by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork painting, mixed media
Imi Knoebel Papilio, 2004 Acrylic, aluminium, synthetic foil
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Messerschnitt VI by Imi Knoebel contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Imi Knoebel Messerschnitt VI, 1977 Acrylic on paper
100 x 70 cm
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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
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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
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