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    Sale 12245

    Post-War & Contemporary Art Day Auction

    7 October 2016, London, King Street

  • Lot 226

    GÜNTHER FÖRG (1952-2013)

    Untitled

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    GÜNTHER FÖRG (1952-2013)
    Untitled
    signed and dated 'Förg 2000' (upper right)
    acrylic on canvas
    47 ½ x 98 5/8in. (120.5 x 250.5cm.)
    Painted in 2000


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    “Newman and Rothko attempted to rehabilitate in their works a unity and order that for them had been lost […] For me, abstract art today is what one sees and nothing more.”
    —G. FÖRG, quoted in Günther Förg: Painting/ Sculpture/ Installation, exh. cat., 1989, Newport Beach, p. 6

    With its topographic expanse of shifting monotone forms, Günther Förg’s Untitled from 2000 is a refined example of the artist’s enduring dialogue with modern abstraction. Spanning over eight feet in width, the painting’s vast scale and austere smoky grey hue combine to create a work of monumental presence. Förg inscribes the painting with implied geometric forms rendered through his directionally linear handling of paint. Glimpses of Förg’s raw canvas emerge from the shroud of grey pigment, underscoring the interplay of space and form. Although his formal study of colour references modern masters including Barnett Newman, Ad Reinhardt and Mark Rothko, Förg consciously distances himself from the spiritualism of American Abstract Expressionism, explaining ‘Newman and Rothko attempted to rehabilitate in their works a unity and order that for them had been lost […] For me, abstract art today is what one sees and nothing more’ (G. Förg, quoted in Günther Förg: Painting/ Sculpture/ Installation, exh. cat., 1989, Newport Beach, p. 6). His courageous renunciation of painting’s long-standing metaphysical pretention heralds an anti-dogmatic postmodernist art that, unburdened by proselytization, draws attention to objective pictorial power. By reducing his artistic syntax to the formal tenets of abstraction – ‘the same problems that faced those at the beginning of the century or even before, problems around colour, form and composition’ – Förg’s Untitled champions the creative process of art-making and the physicality of art (G. Förg, interview with D. Ryan, ‘Talking Painting’, Karlsruhe 1997, reproduced at http:/www.david-ryan.co.uk/Günther0Förg.html [accessed 25 August 2016]). With its monochromatic depth, convoluted form and painterly impasto, the work affirms and revitalises the empirical qualities of abstraction.

    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

    Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner in 2003.


    Post Lot Text

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