Günther Förg, Cristina Iglesias, Ettore Spalletti, Jan Vercruysse, Franz West, Christopher Wool
Joost Declercq, Gent; Max Hetzler, Cologne; Luhring Augustine, New York; Peter Pakesch, Vienna; Marga Paz, Madrid; Mario Pieroni, Rome; 1989
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Over a career spanning five decades, Günther Förg (1952–2013) developed a distinctive and prolific body of work, including experiments in abstraction and monochrome painting, against the general trend of figurative painting predominant in Germany in the 1980s. Wall paintings, sculptures, large format photographs, portraits and architectural views, as well as drawings and graphics, executed in a range of mediums, bear witness to the innovative diversity of the artist’s approach. Universal concepts of form, mass, proportion, rhythm and structure constitute a common thread in his work. From the late 2000s, Förg’s painting took a brighter and more gestural turn, resulting from an intuitive approach to colour and composition.
‘Art, artists, architecture, landscapes, films and literature are all constant sources of inspiration for Günther Förg, and the notion that art is generally more likely to be derived from other art than from nature comes through in his various work cycles and series as well. His spontaneity of conception and dynamic gesture is contrasted with complex references and their associated meanings. Förg is concerned with self-reflecting experience and self-analysis in painting. By referring to the most diverse of artists from widely varying eras and styles of the 20th century, he brings out individual positions that were arguably of unparalleled relevance to artistic practice in subsequent decades, while at the same time he links periods and ideologies that were often mutually contradictory.’
B. Reiss, Günther Förg: Paintings, Walls, and Photographs in Günther Förg 1987–2011, exh. cat., Berlin: Galerie Max Hetzler and Holzwarth Publications, 2012
Artist page on maxhetzler.com
The core element of Christopher Wool’s (b. 1955) work is the process of painting itself, which he explores since his early years by reducing form and colour, experimenting with different painting and more specifically on reproduction techniques: using silkscreen or pattern rollers, layering and erasing, covering certain motives with paint, then adding other layers on top. The range of techniques Wool has used over the years makes reference to processes and gestures that have marked contemporary art history. His complex work encourages the viewer to reflect on the physical qualities of paint, reproduction and to be aware of painting procedures and the essential elements of the medium: form, line and colour.
‘Christopher Wool’s paintings seem to capture visual urban experience, carved out of a moment for the duration of an artwork - an artwork that coverts the structures of experience into the structures of painting. Non-specific moments and impressions are lifted out of context and fixed into details of a painting that, unlike graffiti, conveys the speed and concentration of its origin only when it is contemplated over a measure of time in an art space. The dynamic of the picture’s conception becomes, very gradually, the dynamite of the thought it contains. Thought pictures.’
F. Meschede, ‘The Nothingness before nothing’ in Christopher Wool, Galerie Max Hetzler and Holzwarth Publications, 2007
(in cooperation with: Joost Declercq - Gent, Luhring Augustine - New York, Peter Pakesch - Vienna, Marga Paz - Madrid, Mario Pieroni - Roma)
(catalogue "Summer 1989")
Venloer Straße 21, Cologne
Exhibition page on maxhetzler.com