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André Butzer, Günther Förg, Frank Nitsche, Albert Oehlen, Christopher Wool et al.

Abstract Painting Now! (group show)
Kunsthalle Krems, Krems
2 July - 5 November 2017

André Butzer, Untitled, 2014. Photo: Johannes Plattner Courtesy the artist and Galerie Bernd Kugler, Innsbruck
André Butzer, Untitled, 2014. Photo: Johannes Plattner Courtesy the artist and Galerie Bernd Kugler, Innsbruck

Featuring some sixty different art positions, the exhibition Abstract Painting Now! will place the focus on the present-day international situation of the nonrepresentational easel painting, covering the full range of a still significant painterly practice. The historical basis of the show is the development that followed upon Abstract Expressionism, carried above all by Gerhard Richter and Sigmar Polke. While the former after a period of agony, in which his grey “Inpaintings” were created, turned to the beautiful and seemingly expressive, the latter used abstraction as an ironic paraphrase, thus commenting on the veracity of the brush stroke as a mark of the artist self.

Kunsthalle Krems


Additional:

Günther Förg

With works by Günther Förg from the Friedrichs Collection (solo show)
Bibliothek Günther Förg, Weidingen
28 July - 26 August 2018

Bibliothek Günther Förg, Weidingen, 2016
Bibliothek Günther Förg, Weidingen, 2016

This year, Bibliothek Günther Förg will present three works by Günther Förg from the private collection of Brunhilde and Günther Friedrichs. Throughout his life, Günther Förg has built several, practically identical libraries in his studios and apartments in Switzerland and Germany. The Stiftung zur Förderung zeitgenössischer Kunst in Weidingen acquired one of these libraries with approximately 3,000 books. The newly constructed building is situated in the old inner part of Weidingen and provides space for exhibitions, reading and the library itself.
Alongside two of Förg's architecture photographs, depicting Mies van der Rohe's renowned Barcelona Pavilion, a large painting will be on view that is considered part of his so called grid paintings. An icon of Modernist abstraction, the grid – in some cases tight, in others airy – appears freed from artistic dogmas in Förg’s practice, often conjuring a window, and marks the artist's ongoing engagement with the physicality of an artwork as well as architectural structures.

Kunst in Weidingen


Albert Oehlen

As Far as the Eye Can See - New Insight into the Würth Collection (group show)
Kunsthalle Würth, Schwäbisch Hall
23 April 2018 - 17 March 2019

The Würth Collection, already rich in diversity and specific features, has nevertheless been enlarged by a wealth of exciting international acquisitions over the past ten years. An opulent selection of almost 200 works dating from the 1960s onwards are now being put on show for the public, many of them for the first time.
The main accesssions have been in the fields of painting and sculpture. The often powerful
formats by Karel Appel, Daniel Buren, Anthony Caro, Tony Cragg, Felix Droese, Antony Gormley, Peter Halley, Johannes Itten, Alex Katz, Martin Kippenberger, Per Kirkeby, Imi Knoebel, Maria Lassnig, Robert Longo, Brian O’Doherty, Albert Oehlen, Sigmar Polke, Arnulf Rainer, Gerhard Richter, Antonio Saura, Sean Scully, Monika Sosnowska, Antoni Tàpies and many others reflect in many ways the complexity as well as the openness of positions in art over the past 60 years.
Whereas the art predominant in the western world in the post-war years was mainly dedicated to art forms that, freed from all figuration, tradition and representational constraints, relied solely on the inspired gesture, now artists emerged who were suspicious of precisely this supposedly ingenious artistic inspiration. While some declared painting to be dead, others took very different approaches towards a “re-vision” of painting and sculpture, which included both provocation and irony.
This did not ultimately involve some kind of empathetic return to the painterly or figurative, but rather a re-negotiation of traditionally conveyed notions of the image and the reproduction. What is more, it is a process which has still not been completed to this very day.
The exhibition is subdivided into several sections that provide exciting insight into a variety of themes ranging from Colour Field to Nature Transformed to Body Communication,
not omitting Staged Conflict Fields or The Grand Gesture. You may well be surprised!

Würth Collection


Christopher Wool

First Impressions: Prints from the Anderson Collection (group show)
de Young Museum, San Francisco
2 June - 8 December 2018

Our culture is full of discussions around managing the ever-important “first impression”—that first encounter with a new person, place, thing, or idea, when opinions are often hastily formed. It can be difficult to escape the grip of a “first.” However, artworks can provide artists, viewers, and collectors with multiple opportunities for first impressions—an expression particularly apt in printmaking, since every sheet bearing a printed image is called an impression. This exhibition casts a wide net across the concept of the “first impression” to present a selection of highlights from the museum’s Anderson Graphic Arts Collection.

Among the first impressions on view are examples of artists’ first projects at a print workshop, their debut of a motif or technique, and their initial works within a series. Viewing artwork likewise provides occasions for firsts. There is the first time a viewer encounters a work of art, which is also perhaps their earliest exposure to the artist or to a specific context that reveals content, form, and technique in a new way. First Impressions includes recent additions to the Anderson Collection by Louise Nevelson and Christopher Wool and marks the debut of these prints at the de Young.

And there are firsts for the collector. An inaugural purchase within a previously unexplored area of art may send him or her off in new directions, as did Mary Margaret “Moo” Anderson’s first encounter in 1968 with Richard Diebenkorn’s 41 Etchings Drypoints, itself the artist’s first publication with the then-fledgling Crown Point Press. The suite of prints—which Moo and her husband, “Hunk” (Harry, who died in February), count as their earliest acquisition within the realm of contemporary art—inspired in them a lifelong commitment to collecting contemporary American prints.

de Young Museum, San Francisco


Günther Förg

Günther Förg - A Fragile Beauty (solo show)
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
26 May - 14 October 2018

Günther Förg, Farbfeld, 1989
Günther Förg, Farbfeld, 1989

The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam presents a major survey of the work of German artist Günther Förg (1952–2013). A Fragile Beauty explores the work of a rebellious artist whose oeuvre embodies a critical, witty, yet rigorous and penetrating critique of the canon of modern art.

Förg was driven by a boundless urge for freedom, and a predilection for experiment, drawing inspiration from great artists of the past, as well as his contemporaries. Merging disciplines and boundaries, he worked in a variety of materials, ranging from bronze and lead, to plaster and reflective glass. In exhibiting his work, Förg assimilated the architecture of the gallery space – even doors and windows – into the work itself.

A Fragile Beauty includes work from Förg’s entire oeuvre and illuminates the evolution of his experimental and radical approach. Taking its cue from the artist, for whom the space was integral to the work, each room is individual in nature. Among the works on display are Förg’s early monochrome paintings, together with his color studies, (architectural) photographs, sculptures, and late spot paintings.

Förg’s work was continually reinterpreted: initially considered a postmodernist, he was later seen as engaging with the legacy of expressionism. Förg was, without doubt, an artist who challenged the parameters of disciplines. A Fragile Beauty transcends convenient categorization and shows the full scope and complexity of the oeuvre of an idiosyncratic and unique artist.

The Stedelijk is developing the exhibition Günther Förg – A Fragile Beauty in partnership with the Dallas Museum of Art.

Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam


Albert Oehlen

Albert Oehlen and Peppi Bottrop: Line packers” (dual exhibition)
Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles
1 March - 12 August 2018

Albert Oehlen and Peppi Bottrop, installation view, Marciano Art Foundation, 2018. Photo: Julian Calero. Courtesy of the artists and Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles
Albert Oehlen and Peppi Bottrop, installation view, Marciano Art Foundation, 2018. Photo: Julian Calero. Courtesy of the artists and Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles

The Marciano Art Foundation presents Line Packers”, a special exhibition, conceived by Cornelius Tittel, of two German painters Peppi Bottrop (b. 1986, Bottrop) and Albert Oehlen (b. 1954, Krefeld). Beginning March 1, the foundation’s Lounge Gallery will feature Bottrop’s line-drawing paintings responding to the architecture of the Lounge Gallery itself alongside works from Oehlen’s Computer Paintings, a series that the artist began in the early 1990s, which is now regarded as a turning point for contemporary painting.

Bottrop’s work is conceived as a meditation on his hometown, a once prominent coal mining and rail center in the Ruhr region. Bottrop employs charcoal—a metaphor for what once powered the world, and a nod to the now-defunct mechanical industry—in an expansive wall-drawing engraved into slabs of Fermacell, a material now replacing sheetrock or gypsum used in the construction of institutional architecture.

Oehlen’s Computer Paintings, which will be affixed to Bottrop’s walls, made between 1992 and 2008, exemplify Oehlen’s pioneering role as one of the first contemporary painters to explore the nascent capabilities and limits of drawing and line-making through the use of a now-rudimentary Texas Instruments computer. The wall-drawings and supports by Bottrop juxtaposed with Oehlen’s Computer Paintings suggest new possibilities for the line in painting. This line, embedded materially into the Fermacell walls, offers a proposition for the medium of painting to re-define itself. The two autonomous, yet mutually-dependent works establish a place of intensive communication and self-exploration, supporting one another in this single, temporary unification that looks to Wilshire Blvd. and Los Angeles, a city that is just as easily defined by its own lines of interstate and highway infrastructure.

Accompanying this exhibition will be a new text by the arts writer and science fiction novelist, Mark von Schlegell.

Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles


Günther Förg

[Untitled] 1976 - 2008
Paintings, Material Images and Works on Paper from the Friedrichs Collection (solo show)
Kunstverein Reutlingen, Reutlingen
10 June - 26 August 2018

Image: Wilhelm Schürmann, Günther Förg, Galerie Hetzler, Köln, 1983 © Wilhelm Schürmann
Image: Wilhelm Schürmann, Günther Förg, Galerie Hetzler, Köln, 1983 © Wilhelm Schürmann

Günther Förg (1952—2013) is a great renewer of painting amidst modernism and the present, amidst Europe and America, amidst abstract-laconic minimalism and delicately gestural expressiveness.
In collaboration with the Estate Günther Förg the Kunstverein presents a retrospective selection of his painterly œuvre from 1976 until 2008: for the first time, 100 paintings, material images as well as works on paper from the collection of Brunhilde and Günther Friedrichs will be introduced to the public allowing for an impressively coherent survey of the both hazardous and sensuous ventures of Günther Förg’s painting.
Just as the mutual exhibition of Georg Baselitz and Albert Oehlen in the autumn of 2016, Günther Förg [Untitled] 1976 - 2008 will be a ›historic‹ peak among the Kunstverein’s young contemporary programme.

Kunstverein Reutlingen, Reutlingen


Albert Oehlen

Cows by the Water (solo show)
Palazzo Grassi, Venice
8 April 2018 - 6 January 2019

Albert Oehlen, installation view, Palazzo Grassi, Venice, 2018 © Palazzo Grassi, Photo: Matteo De Fina
Albert Oehlen, installation view, Palazzo Grassi, Venice, 2018 © Palazzo Grassi, Photo: Matteo De Fina

From Sunday 8 April 2018, Palazzo Grassi presents Cows by the water, a personal exhibition dedicated to German artist Albert Oehlen (1954, Krefeld, Germany) and curated by Caroline Bourgeois.

The exhibition lays out a path dedicated to Albert Oehlen’s production through a selection of approximately 85 works, including some lesser-known ones, created between the 1980's and today. The works brought together come from the Pinault Collection as well as from other major private collections and international museums.

Cows by the water path is not chronological but rather suggests a syncopated rhythm between various genres and periods, thereby underlining the central role played by music in the artist’s practice. Music emerges as a real metaphor of his work method, where contamination and rhythm, improvisation and repetition, density and harmony of sounds become pictorial gestures.

Albert Oehlen (1954, Krefeld, Germany) reveals himself to be a major figure of contemporary painting thanks to his artistic research in constant evolution, dedicated to experiments and to overcoming formal limits rather than to the subject represented.

The artist’s work has already be presented in exhibitions around the world, including at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Havana in 2017, the Cleveland Museum of Art in 2016, the New Museum in New York in 2015, the Kunstmuseum in Bonn in 2012 and the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in 2009. 'Cows by the water' in Venice is his largest monographic one to date.

Palazzo Grassi, Venice