Influenced by American Abstract Expressionism, German artist Günther Förg applied a sense of rebelliousness and experimental curiosity to his varied works of art. A painter, sculptor, graphic designer, and photographer, Förg enjoyed a prolific career and his oeuvre stands as a testament to his passionate and self-driven artistic exploration. German critic Andreas Schlaegal wrote of the importance of his work in 2011: “The evolution of his direct, subjective engagement with the aesthetic of the sublime — conducted without fear of stereotypical taboos — oscillates between appropriation and homage, yet Förg does so without any ironic quotations or other such cheap distancing techniques. Instead, he throws mythical ballast overboard and appropriates picture-making strategies in a way that makes them look new.” (1)
Active in the Cologne art scene during the 1980s, his intense use of color and simple geometric forms, Förg’s work is seen as both a natural legacy of modernism but also a reaction against it. Förg had a life-long interest in architecture, a key subject in the
photography of his later career. In the 1980s through to the 1990s, Förg framed his compositions with vibrant and imposing color fields, evocative of his American predecessors Stamos or Rothko.
Works by Förg are part of major museum collections such as the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Museum für Monderne Kunst, Frankfurt; Ludwig Museum, Cologne, Tate Modern, London; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the SFMoMa, San Francisco.
As quoted in Bruce Weber, “Günther Förg, German Artist Who Made Modernism His Theme, Dies at 61” New York Times, Dec 18, 2003.
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