Lot 25
  • 25

GÜNTHER FÖRG | Untitled

Estimate
300,000 - 400,000 GBP
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Description

  • Günther Förg
  • Untitled
  • signed and dated 06
  • acrylic on canvas
  • 240.5 by 221 cm. 94 1/2 by 87 in.

Provenance

Galerie Max Hetzler, Paris
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2015 

Exhibited

Neuss, Langen Foundation, Leiko Ikemura - Günther Förg - Zwischenräume, June - November 2007, p. 95, illustrated in colour  

Condition

Colour: The colours in the catalogue illustration are fairly accurate, although the overall tonality is slightly more vibrant in the original. Condition: This work is in very good condition. All surface irregularities appear to be in keeping with the artist's choice of materials and working process. No restoration is apparent when examined under ultra violet light.
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Catalogue Note

“Really, painting should be sexy. It should be sensual. These are things that will always escape the concept. I think painting is a resilient practice; if you look through the history of painting it doesn’t change so much and we always see it in the present. It is still now.”
Günther Förg in conversation with David Ryan, Talking Painting, Karlsruhe, 1997, online.  

Executed in 2006, Untitled is a magnificent example of Günther Förg’s celebrated Gitterbilder or Grid Paintings. Rendered in an intense red on a monumental scale, the lattice of horizontal and vertical lines in the present work surrounds the viewer in a haze of intoxicating colour. With intersecting lines packed densely together, generating a potent cloud of red that saturates the picture plane, Untitled invokes a vast sense of depth that reacts against the painting’s white ground.   

 

Förg began working on his body of Grid Paintings in the early 1990s. This cycle of paintings and works on paper found its roots in the artist’s earlier series, the Fenster-Aquarelle or Window Watercolours. Inspired by the pictorial practice of his predecessors, this present series of Grid Paintings draws further influence from various artworks such as Edward Munch’s Death of Marat, a figurative work which is made up from different coloured abstract grids. Whereas Förg’s earlier series of Window Watercolours explored a very classic motif in art history, the Grid Paintings disregard the modernist rectangular frame in favour of an informal and intuitive matrix that varies between conceptual methods and individual expression. Förg was not interested in the conceptual examination of a painting, but rather in its composition. For him, painting represented far more than its conceptual starting point, and became a celebration of colour, medium and form. Characterised by thick, sweeping brushstrokes merged with distant, almost minimalist lines, the Grid Paintings are simultaneously expressionistic and intimate, gestural and precise, abstract and representational. Indeed, with its criss-cross aesthetic, Untitled seems to evoke a cityscape view. As art historian Rudi Fuchs has commented, “Förg uses the idiom of geometric abstraction with the same naturalness with which Monet used the lilies in his garden pond: material and forms that happen to be at hand, easily available as the vehicle for aesthetic sensibility, painterly style and vision” (Rudi Fuchs, ‘Abstract, Dialect, Förg’ in: Exh. Cat., Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, Günther Förg, 1995, p. 20).  



This work is recorded in the archive of Günther Förg as No. WVF 06.B.0130. We thank Mr. Michael Neff from the Estate of Günther Förg for the information he has kindly provided on this work.