Massimo De Carlo presents Förg: the first solo exhibition in Hong Kong by the German artist Günther Förg. In his practice Günther Förg, who was highly inspired by abstract influences and modernism, has explored tangible ways of reflecting on materiality and on the gesture, using shapes and geometry in order to balance rational and irrational, the works of the mind and those of the gut, by tackling an array of mediums that include painting, sculpture and photography.
The works in this exhibition mark a period of time in the artists’ life where he abandoned minimalism and Köln School structuralist inspired rigour to pursue the quest of pure abstraction, focusing on the painterly gesture, the brushstroke and spatiality. These experiments on abstraction translate into art the selection of thoughts around the notions of fragmentation and totality that have generated these mesmerizing canvases.
Förg focuses on a series of works on canvas that the artist commenced in 2007 where the element of colour, which the artist has investigated throughout his practice and expressed via different media, is key. The canvases in the exhibition are filled by a series of semi rectangular shapes, on a white back ground, that appear like islands of colours composed by scribbled lines, each shape in a
different colour, varying from light pastel tones to bright and darker shades.
The vibrant colour palette of these works allows colour itself to partially overcome the ever importance of the logical shapes, grids, squares, lines – a constant in Günther Förg’s work – conferring to the canvases an ethereal, almost fairy tale like character. Through these shapes, Günther Förg combines the delicacy of the painterly gesture with the raging naïveté of doodles and scribbles, a contrast between the fragile and also uneasy movement and the meditative yet firm quality of the work.
Each canvas appears as an instant of its own, which does not necessarily have a purpose or a consequence if not that of enchanting and trapping the viewer in a sort of personal synaesthesia, relatable to both the particular and the universal. Förg offers a precious insight on the relationship each of us shares between the mind and the notion of colour, balanced between whimsicality and self-consciousness.
The exhibition is organized in collaboration with the estate of Günther Förg.
Günther Förg (1952-2013) was born in Füssen, Germany in 1952. His work has been shown in important institutions such as Museum Brandhorst, Munich, Germany (2014); Museo Carlo Bilotti, Rome, Italy (2013); Fountain Beyeler, Basel (2009); Langen Foundation in Neuss (2007); Kunstmuseum Basel (2006); Gemeentemuseum The Hague (2006); Tel Aviv Museum of Art (2002); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía/Palacio de Velazquez, Madrid (1998); Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (1991); Newport Harbor Art Museum, Newport Beach (1989) and SFMoMa, San Francisco (1989). Works by Förg are part of major museum collections such as the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam); National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa); Museum für Monderne Kunst (Frankfurt); Ludwig Museum (Cologne); Tate Modern (London); Museum of Modern Art
(NY); SFMoMa (San Francisco) and Hamburger Bahnhof-Museum für Gegenwart (Berlin).