Günther Förg (German, 1952-2013)
6 Radierungen, 1990
Medium: 6 Drypoint etchings on wove paper
Dimensions. each 39.5 x 26.5 cm
Edition of 20 + XIII: Hand-signed and numbered
“Retrospectively, the reason for the continued importance of Förg’s oeuvre becomes clear. The evolution of his direct, subjective engagement with the aesthetic of the sublime — conducted without fear of stereotypical taboos — oscillates between appropriation and homage, yet Förg does so without any ironic quotations or other such cheap distancing techniques. Instead, he throws mythical ballast overboard and appropriates picture-making strategies in a way that makes them look new.” – Andreas Schlegel on Günther Förg in “Günther Förg”, Frieze Magazine, Spring 2012, pp. 134-135.
Günther Förg was a German abstract artist who produced an extensive oeuvre, including painting, drawing, printmaking, photography and sculpture. In the postwar era, he explored the legacy of Modernism by attempting to create a new iconography for the contemporary era. Consequently, Förg’s oeuvre often alludes to Russian Constructivism, Italian Rationalism, Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism. Against the general trend of figurative painting predominant in Germany, he experimented on abstraction and monochrome painting. Förg’s renowned lead series, acrylic painted on sheets of lead and supported by wooden frames, blurs the line between painting and sculpture in an evolution towards object-making. Despite being known for the use of bright use of saturated colors, one of Günther Förg‘s most prominent work is a series of black-and-white architecture photographs. In the 1980s, he produced photographs of culturally significant architectural structures, from Bauhaus buildings to Fascist constructions. Günther Förg would later comment that his use of photography was a method of “working closer to reality,” stating, “what one paints is not reality.” Förg was the subject of solo exhibitions at Dallas Museum of Art, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Museum Brandhorst (Munich), Fondation Beyeler (Basel), Kunstmuseum Basel (2006) and the Museo Reina Sofía (Madrid), amongst others. Günther Förg was born in Füssen in 1952 and died in Freiburg in 2013.
Auction record: £1.3m, Christie’s, 2020