Consistently exploiting the possibilities of abstraction and the conceptual legacy of high Modernist principles, Imi Knoebel is one of the most important contemporary German artists. Created in 1974, shortly after completing his fine art degree under the tutelage of Joseph Beuys at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Projections is an early example of Knoebel’s bold departure from the materiality of traditional painting. Between 1968 and the mid-1970s, Knoebel realized a series of light experiments in which he cast shapes of light onto the walls of darkened studio or on buildings en plein air with empty slide projectors. As one of Beuys’ first students to use photography an independent artistic medium, he captured these fleeting impressions on camera. The twenty-eight photographs in Projections each capture the ephemeral interplay of shadow and light, and of abstraction and figuration. Light beams illuminate fragments of a table, a chair, a fruit bowl or window blinds, but also allow abstract forms to emerge from a pitch-black interior space. The work witnesses Knoebel’s interest in how minimal changes to objects, initially devoid of sense or meaning, could develop the power to generate pictures. Taking elements from his surroundings as a starting point for his art, Knoebel advances Kazimir Malevich’s theory of the Black Square, which postulated painting’s independence from reality, whether subjectively felt and objectively given. His razor-sharp light beams foreshadow the signature ‘Messerschnitte’ or ‘knife cuts’ that would consistently recur in his later acclaimed work.