• First Open | Post-War and Cont auction at Christies

    Sale 12724

    First Open | Post-War and Contemporary Art | London

    29 September 2016, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 28

    Günther Förg (1952-2013)

    Untitled

    Estimate

    Günther Förg (1952-2013)
    Untitled
    signed and dated 'Förg 95' (on the reverse)
    acrylic on lead on panel
    23 5/8 x 15 ¾in. (60 x 40cm.)
    Executed in 1995


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    ‘I like very much the qualities of lead – the surface, the heaviness; it gives the colour a different density and weight ... with the normal canvas you often have to kill the ground, give it something to react against. With the metals you already have something – its scratches, scrapes’ G. Förg

    Executed in 1995, Untitled is a sumptuous example of Günther Förg’s celebrated series of lead paintings. Upon a dense grey ground, streaked and whorled with patina, the artist imposes a single strip of dusky pink, bisecting and anchoring the work’s volatile surface. Fascinated by the relationship between artwork, object, material and form, Förg sought to comprehend the properties of his chosen medium by observing its interaction with layers of pigment. ‘I like very much the qualities of lead – the surface, the heaviness,’ he explains; ‘it gives the colour a different density and weight ... with the normal canvas you often have to kill the ground, give it something to react against. With the metals you already have something - its scratches, scrapes’ (G. Förg, quoted in D. Ryan, Talking Painting, Karlsruhe 1997, http:/ www.david-ryan.co.uk/Gunther0Forg). Though reminiscent of Barnett Newman’s ‘zips’ or Mark Rothko’s shimmering colour fields, Förg’s lead paintings eschew any metaphysical claim. Indeed, Förg consciously distanced himself from the spiritual aesthetic espoused by his predecessors, preferring instead to conceive his work in purely material terms. Oxidised by the atmosphere and refined by its surroundings, the lead becomes a living, breathing surface: an unstable, constantly shifting field of texture and depth that works in lively counterpoint to Förg’s geometric band of paint.

    Special Notice

    Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.


    Provenance

    Galerie Mikael Andersen, Copenhagen.
    Acquired from the above by the present owner.


    Post Lot Text

    We are most grateful to Mr. Michael Neff from the Estate of Günther Förg for the information he has kindly provided.