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Imi Knoebel (b. 1940)
Imi Knoebel (b. 1940)
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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Imi Knoebel (b. 1940)

Revolver I

Imi Knoebel (b. 1940)
Revolver I
signed and dated 'Imi 2..3' (on the reverse)
acrylic on aluminium, in two parts
overall: 231.5 x 310cm.
Executed in 2003
Galerie Fahnemann, Berlin.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2006.
J.-P. Olivier (ed.), Imi Knoebel: Stained Glass Windows in Reims Cathedral, 2012 (illustrated in colour, p. 143).
Palma de Mallorca, Es Baluard Museu d'Art Modern i Contemporani de Palma, Paisajes Cruzados, 2009-2010 (illustrated, p. 72).
Palma de Mallorca, Es Baluard Museu d'Art Modern i Contemporani de Palma, La Remor del Món: De l'Informalisme a les Noves Abstraccions 1950-2010, 2010-2011 (illustrated, pp. 70-71).
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.
Please note that at our discretion some lots may be moved immediately after the sale to our third party storage facility at Crown Fine Arts, Gyroscoopweg 19, 1042 AC Amsterdam, Tel +31(0)20 658 33 80 or Fax +31(0)20 658 33 99.

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Lisa Snijders
Lisa Snijders

Lot Essay

Layering emerald green horizontals against crimson verticals, interlocking panel upon panel of vivid, prismatic colour, Imi Knoebel creates Revolver I, 2003, a work of chromatic density and intense visual impact. Stretching to over three metres in length, Revolver I is the thrilling outcome of a career the artist has dedicated to the investigation of colour. Since 1977, when the artist created 24 Farben—für Blinky (24 Colors—for Blinky) in memory of the recent passing of his friend Blinky Palermo, a gifted colourist, Knoebel has taken on the legacy of luminous, pure colour. That work’s twenty-four colours, each applied to an irregular trapezoid of wood, find their glorious counterpart in Revolver I, where Knoebel uses some thirty-five different shades to create a lambent, iridescent harmony. As the configuration of aluminium bars changes across the surface, horizontals and verticals alternatively crossing, the colours cast shadows upon one another, entangling and multiplying the chromatic fields to create the spinning sense of infinite possibility to which the work’s title alludes. With Revolver III in the collection of the Ritter Museum, Waldenbuch, this work is a thrilling example of Knoebel’s mastery of colour.
Faced by the profusion of abstraction in the post-war period, Knoebel initially admitted to being lost – ‘I thought: everything has been done already. Yves Klein has painted his canvas blue, Lucio Fontana has cut slashes into his. What’s left? If you want to do something, to stay alive, you have to think of something at least as radical’ (I. Knoebel, quoted in K. Connolly, ‘Artist Imi Knoebel’, The Guardian, 15 July 2015). Studying under Joseph Beuys together with Imi Giese, the duo infamously had a room at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf to themselves, Raum 19, where they covered the walls with layers of fibreboard and stretchers, drew lines and punched holes in paper. The installation was later formalised as Raum 19, 1968, a materialist study of planar surface and volumetric solid. Though colour was tellingly absent from this and other early works, Raum 19 betrays the interest in stacking and arranging modular elements which defines Revolver I. An intriguing hybrid of painting and sculpture, Revolver I is a construction of both tonal and tactile fascination, precisely demarcated but thrumming with feeling.

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