“Yves Klein has painted his canvas blue, Lucio Fontana has cut slashes into his. What’s left? If you want to do something, to stay alive, you have to think of something at least as radical.” – Imi Knoebel
Minimalist Imi Knoebel’s oeuvre is dedicated to the exploration of form, colour and material. Despite studying under Joseph Beuys at the Düsseldorf Art Academy, Knoebel’s strongest influence was Kazimir Malevich. Incorporating painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, photography and installations, his resolutely abstract artworks continue Malevich’s notion of “pure perception”, mainly focussing on simple forms and a reductive use of colour. Asked about his perception of art, Imi Knoebel answered: “When I am asked about what I think when I look at a painting, I can only answer that I don’t think at all; I look at it and can only take in the beauty, and I don’t want to see it in relation to anything else. Only what I see, simply because it has its own validity.” Regularly creating artworks in series, Imi Knoebel’s minimal compositions consist of a simplistic and strict vocabulary of forms, combined with a subtle use of colour, exposing the physical characteristics inherent in the most basic of materials, such as fibreboard, plywood and aluminium. Imi Knoebel is German and was born 1940 in Dessau.
Imi Knoebel, Gelbe Fahne