Untitled (1987) is a stunning bipartite zone of russet and navy blue, painted on vast, separate sheets of lead: a monumental presence, the work’s entirety occupies 1.8 x 2.5 metres, facing the viewer with heavy swathes of subdued and powerful colour. Disavowing the mystic transcendentalism of colour-field painters like Barnett Newman or Mark Rothko, Günther Förg instead presents the physicality of the art object for our assessment: its architectural scale also references window and door, increasing our awareness of the surrounding space where Newman or Rothko aimed to eliminate it by utterly absorbing the viewer in colour. As Bonnie Clearwater has written, Förg’s work has its own distinctively potent effects in its destabilising of our expectations of a figure-ground relationship. ‘Interpreted as an opening in the wall, the painting becomes a view into illusionistic space. For example, if we permit ourselves to read the compositions of vertically aligned rectangles or diptychs as sky, earth and horizon, the upper region seems to recede into the distance. No sooner do we find ourselves drifting off into the horizon than the surface flattens out again as a result of the even chromatic intensity of the two planes. Consequently, the experience of these paintings becomes a contrast of intimacy and psychological distancing’ (B. Clearwater, ‘Günther Förg: Beyond Painting,’ in Günther Förg: Painting / Sculpture /Installation, exh. cat. Newport Harbor Art Museum, Newport Beach, p. 22). The weighty materiality of the lead amplifies this disjunction, underscoring an architectonic and poetic play of surface and depth that has long stood at the heart of the artist’s multidisciplinary oeuvre. In his dialogue with – and self-distinction from – his predecessors, Förg strikes up an anti-dogmatic postmodernist commentary upon the modernist legacy, the dense panels of Untitled reconfiguring abstraction as a free and unburdened zone of pictorial power.