This winter season, Hauser & Wirth brings the work of Günther Förg (1952 – 2013), one of the most signiicant post-war German artists, to Tarmak22 in Gstaad. The presentation focuses on the later years of Förg’s artistic production and draws on the relationship between works spanning from 1997 to 2009. On view are photographs, acrylic paintings, and works on paper, bringing together the various aspects of the artist’s multidisciplinary practice. Taken in the Swiss alps in the winter of 1997, the photographs in the exhibition depict landscapes covered in snow and were the source of inspiration for Förg’s series ‘mostly landscapes’, created more than a decade later in2009, and are presented side-by-side for the irst time in this exhibition. ‘Mostly Landscapes’ at Tarmak22 coincides with Günther Förg. Appearance’ at Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles, the irst solo exhibition of the artist in Los Angeles.
Throughout his life, Förg moved between dierent materials in a series of sustained investigations, with one body of work inluencing the next. Born in the region of Allgäu, Germany, Günther Förg’s career began in the early 1970s as a student at The Academy of Fine Art Munich. During his studies, Förg painted abstract works almost exclusively in grey and black monochrome, experimenting with dierent surfaces, patina and gestural mark-making.
In the 1980s, Förg began exploring new mediums to make works. In particular, he employed photography to reveal geometric forms within everyday life. Included in the exhibition are Förg’s large-format photographs of winter landscapes taken in Switzerland in 1997. Photographed whilst riding in a carriage through a valley in the Swiss Alps, these black and white works look beyond nature and at linear forms in the surroundings, evoking the monochrome palette of his early works and the gestural marks visible in his paintings. Interested in the structure and form of nature, these photographs went on to inluence the motifs Förg would later employ in his work.
About the Artist
Günther Förg’s career began in the early 1970s, at the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich (1973 – 1979), where he studied under Karl Fred Dahmen, one of the most important and highly inluential igures of Art Informel. Sup- plementing his understanding of gestural abstraction, Förg attended exhibitions at Galerie Heiner Friedrich, Munich, which played an essential role in the development of the West German art scene. The gallery presented a host of international artists, including Robert Ryman, Sol LeWitt, Blinky Palermo, and Cy Twombly, the latter two of whom Förg cited as seminal inluences. Förg was included in his irst group show at Galerie Max Hetzler, Stuttgart, in 1981, presented alongside contemporaries Martin Kippenberger and Albert Oehlen, whose shared artistic approach demonstrated a subversive reframing and critical understanding of modernist tropes. In rejecting formal adherence, Förg embarked on what would become a lifelong commitment to the conceptual and serial-matic advancement of art.
Förg’s work is held in numerous public collections, including Broad Contemporary Art Museum, Santa Monica CA; Essl Museum, Klosterneuburg, AT; Fotomuseum Winterthur, CH; Kunstmuseum Basel, CH; Museo d’arte contemporanea Castello di Rivoli, Turin, IT; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, ES; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main, DE; Museum of Modern Art, New York NY; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, CA; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco CA; S.M.A.K. the Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art, Ghent, BE; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, NL; Tate, London, UK; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis IL; among others.
Recent important solo exhibitions include the travelling exhibition ‘A Fragile Beauty’ at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam NL and the Dallas Museum of Art in Dallas TX (2018), and ‘Günther Förg. Works from 1986 – 2007’ at Hauser & Wirth New York (2019) and ‘Günther Förg. surface of bronze‘ at Hauser & Wirth Zurich (2020).
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