Imi Knoebel (b. 1940)
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Imi Knoebel (b. 1940)

schief und schräg 2 (crooked and oblique 2)

Details
Imi Knoebel (b. 1940)
schief und schräg 2 (crooked and oblique 2)
signed and dated 'imi 2010' (on the reverse of the far right panel)
acrylic on aluminium, in three parts
overall: 76 x 114 5/8 x 3 ½in. (193 x 291 x 9cm.)
Executed in 2010
Provenance
Von Bartha, Basel.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2012.
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.

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Tessa Lord
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Lot Essay

‘Beauty always lies in between’
–Imi Knoebel


Spanning nearly three metres in width and two in height, schief und schräg 2 (crooked and oblique 2) is a monumental example of Imi Knoebel’s geometric abstractions. Divided into six segments, each delineated by a unique arrangement of vivid aluminium bars, the work probes the interaction of colour, form and material support to produce a striking hybrid of painting and sculpture. A student of Joseph Beuys during the 1960s, Knoebel absorbed the teachings of Mondrian, Malevich and László Moholy-Nagy, operating through an eclectic mix of reverence and tongue-in-cheek subversion. With their powerful graphic charge spilling into three dimensions, his works play with the tenets of his Modernist heritage. Executed in 2010, the present work’s ‘crooked’ arrangement of lines recalls the haphazard structure of his Cut-up series created that year. As Martin Schulz explains, these works borrow from avant-garde literature in their structural logic, recalling the so-called ‘cut-up’ method in which pre-existing texts are reshuffled to generate new meanings. The results ‘take on a completely different, pointedly illogical, and nonsensical form’, he explains, ‘revealing surprising new connections and possibilities of language that also express something previously unsaid, unthought-of, or not understood’ (M. Schulz, Imi Knoebel, Kartoffelbilder, exh. cat., Galerie nächst St. Stephen, Vienna, 2011, p. 42). The desire to see new possibilities in the grammar of colour and form lies at the heart of Knoebel’s practice, and finds keen expression in the present work.

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