Günther Förg - Galerie Max Hetzler

Galerie Max Hetzler is pleased to present an exhibition of Günther Förg featuring works from 1987 to 2011. On this occasion the gallery is turned into a quite commanding immersive environment with the seminal black and white photograph Ika (1987) as an introduction to the exhibition. A specially commissioned wall painting is on view along  with a mirror, photographs from the series of rationalist architecture Città Universitaria, paintings from the nineties and noughties, including very large formats and recent paintings from the series known as the grit or dot paintings. Thus underscoring Förg's interdisciplinary investigations and his use of the space conceived as one work.

Long before notions of installation and site specifity gained common currency, Förg developed a multidisciplinary practice in which different mediums are exhibited simultaneously. 
Since the early 70's Günther Förg has been producing an extensive body of work including abstract and monochrome painting, against the general trend of figurative painting so predominant in the 80's. Wall paintings, bronze sculptures, large format photographs as well as drawings and graphics witness the diversity of his approach. Early series of grey paintings lead to the use of lead and aluminium as surfaces for painting. Pigment as material on a wall surface became the base of his installations. During the 70's Förg became equally interested in photography and very large formats.  A medium that allowed him to document portraits and especially architecture, above all Italian rationalist and other iconic modernist buildings of the 20th century. For this purpose he travelled extensively to Spain, Israel, Austria, Russia, France, Turkey and Italy, not to mention Germany where he photographed Bauhaus buildings. The photographs are presented under thick protective glass reflecting the room and the viewer, absorbing them into the image. Their scale and format, reminiscing windows, echo his subject of predilection, architecture.

On his canvas the paint is usually thinly and rapidly applied, often covering a surface rather than creating a form. The imprecision of the boundaries between colours reinforces the impression that these are hastily executed works, produced in an almost mechanical manner, making it impossible to consider the pictorial trace as the result of an expressionist or stylistic intention. In recent years Günther Förg surprised with quite different paintings, this time brighter and more gestural. As a result of their intuitive approach to colour they appear as colourful constellations radiating from lush brush strokes. 

Günther Förg was born in Füssen in 1952. He lives and work in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. Since 1979 he has been exhibiting regularly at Galerie Max Hetzler. Förg participated in documenta IX (1992). In 1996 he was awarded the Wolfgang-Hahn-Prize by the Museum Ludwig in Cologne. Since 1999 he has been professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich.

Förg's work has been shown in important institutions such as the Fondation Beyeler, Basel (2009), Langen Foundation in Neuss (2007); Kunstmuseum Basel (2006); Gemeentemuseum The Hague (2006); Tel Aviv Museum of Art (2002); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía / Palacio de Velazquez, Madrid (1998); Touko Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (1991); Newport Harbor Art Museum, Newport Beach (1989) and SFMoMA, San Francisco (1989). 

Works by Förg are part of major museum collections such as the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam); National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa); Museum für Moderne Kunst (Frankfurt); Ludwig Museum (Cologne); Tate Modern (London); Museum of Modern Art (NY); SFMoMA (San Francisco) and Hamburger Bahnhof-Museum für Gegenwart (Berlin). 

Upcoming exhibitions include a solo presentation at Greene Naftali, New York, in 2012.

A fully illustrated catalogue, published by Holzwarth Publications, will accompany the exhibition. 

For further questions please contact Florian Rehn at +49 (0)30 459 77 420
Silke Neumann at silke.neumann(at)bureau-n.de or visit our website www.maxhetzler.com.

Forthcoming exhibition at Galerie Max Hetzler: Monica Bonvicini (18 February-14 April, 2012)