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Günther Förg (1952-2013)
Günther Förg (1952-2013)
Günther Förg (1952-2013)
27 More
Günther Förg (1952-2013)
30 More
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE GERMAN COLLECTION
Günther Förg (1952-2013)


Günther Förg (1952-2013)
each signed and dated 'Förg 88' (upper right); each numbered '1' to '30' (on the reverse)
gouache on paper, in thirty parts
each: 39.5 x 29.5cm.
Executed in 1988
Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1997.
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.
Post Lot Text
This work is recorded in the archive of Günther Förg as no. WVF.88.P.0540.
We thank Mr. Michael Neff from the Estate of Günther Förg for the information he has kindly provided on this work.

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Elvira Jansen
Elvira Jansen Post-War & Contemporary Art

Lot Essay

Günther Förg’s Untitled comprises thirty sheets of equal dimension, each painted in unique geometric patterns made up of one to four colours. Painted in 1988, this large-scale piece is preceded by an even larger chromatic pattern series created for the Museum Haus Lange in Krefeld in 1987, and followed by another in 1989, now housed in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Placed within the context of Förg’s oeuvre, these series can be seen as a breakdown of his monochrome monoliths of the 1970s and as a precursor to his free-handed spot paintings of the 1990s. While they still share the same commitment to solid structures and colour as Förg’s monochromes and architectural photographs from the previous decade, their rigidity in form is offset by his large, visible brush strokes and the lightness of the paper that sits beneath.

Born in Füssen in 1952, Förg forged a reputation as a protean master of mediums, working prolifically in photography, painting, and sculpture alike. Shortly after venturing into his exploration of grey monochromes, Förg began photographing Bauhaus architecture, capturing its pure and unornamented forms. These same qualities would attract him to photographing fascist architecture in Italy. The search for an ideal form has consumed the minds of architects and painters alike for centuries – from Vitruvius to Le Corbusier, Da Vinci to Dalì – the question of a golden ratio has been revisited by every era. Förg’s Untitled belongs to such a canon, and serves as a forceful ambassador of the artist’s own unique strand of Minimalism.

Perhaps one of the most liberating aspects of painting in relation to architecture is its lack of function. In answering the question of ideal forms, no medium is better suited to the task. Förg’s architectural photographs isolate the buildings’ structures from their operational purposes, transforming them into prototypes for abstract compositions. Untitled represents a final phase of abstraction before he began disintegrating structure into shapeless movement and, just before his passing, returning to the grey monoliths of his youth. Never exceeding four colours per sheet and with a reserved palette, Förg presents his viewers with thirty individual experiments in ratio.

'For me,' Förg said, 'abstract art today is what one sees and nothing more' (G. Förg, quoted in Günther Förg: Painting / Sculpture / Installation, exh. cat., Newport, Newport Harbor Art Museum, 1989, p. 6). Förg’s own strand of abstraction was as he defined it: a final stage of the quest for a perfect form, stripped down to its most essential qualities, void of all purpose and context. His oeuvre illustrates this exploration: from his insistence on architecture being at the heart of female portraiture to his later regression into grids, Förg sought purity through abstraction.

Förg’s Minimalism was grandiose; he understood the power of repetition and working on a larger scale, awarding his works permanent homes in collections around the world. His intellectual rigor, as well as his tireless pursuit of an aesthetic ideal, are demonstrated in Untitled, a decorative work of sublime aspiration.

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