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    Sale 3065

    Post-War and Contemporary Art

    1 - 2 November 2016, Amsterdam

  • Lot 15

    Günther Förg (1952-2013)



    Günther Förg (1952-2013)
    signed and dated 'Förg 97' (upper right)
    acrylic and black gesso on wood
    100 x 200cm.
    Painted in 1997

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    With its topographic façade of transverse monotone forms, Günther Förg’s Untitled (1997) is a refined example of the artist’s enduring dialogue with modern abstraction. Stretching over six feet, the painting’s imposing scale and austere smokey grey hue combine to create a work of monumental presence. Förg renders shadowy geometric shapes through his directionally linear handling of thinned pigment. A background of solid blackness emerges from the shroud of grey paint, 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. Newport Harbor Art Museum, Newport Beach, 1989, p. 6). His renunciation of painting’s long-standing metaphysical leanings heralds an anti-dogmatic postmodernist art that 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 poses a subjective interrogation of the aesthetic sublime, championing the creative process of art-making and the physicality of art (G. Förg, quoted in D. Ryan, ‘Günther Förg in conversation with David Ryan,’ Talking Painting: Dialogue with Twelve Contemporary Abstract Painters, London 2002, p. 77). With its monochromatic depth, convoluted form and painterly intrigue, 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.
    “ ! ”: Lot is imported from outside the EU. For each Lot the Buyer’s Premium is calculated as 37.75% of the Hammer Price up to a value of €30,000, plus 31.7% of the Hammer Price between €30,001 and €1,200,000, plus 22.02% of any amount in excess of €1,200,000.


    Private Collection, Italy.
    Acquired from the above by the present owner.

    Saleroom Notice

    Please note that the catalogue description of this work in the printed catalogue is Untitled instead of Schwarz/Grau.

    Post Lot Text

    This work is registered in the artist's archives under the archive no. WVF.97.B.0486.

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