Sale: 530 / Evening Sale / The Hermann Gerlinger Collection, June 10. 2022 in Munich Lot 76

 

76
Günther Förg
Metro 4, 2001.
Acrylic on canvas
Estimate:
€ 140,000 / $ 162,400
Sold:
€ 175,000 / $ 203.000

(incl. surcharge)
Metro 4. 2001.
Acrylic on canvas.
Signed, dated and titled on the reverse. 200.5 x 200.5 cm (78.9 x 78.9 in).

• Large-size homage to Barnett Newman rich in contrast.
• Förg's paintings unite apparent contrasts: the pictorial composition's geometric strictness and the gestural spontaneity of the vibrant color application.
• Large-size color fields by Günther Förg are in possession of many renowned international collections, among them the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Städel, Frankfurt a. M., the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, and the San Francisco Museum of Art
.

We are grateful to Mr Michael Neff of the Estate Günther Förg for his kind confirmation of this work's authenticity. The work is registered in the archive with the number WVF.01.B.0617.

PROVENANCE:
Private collection Germany (acquired directly from the artist).
Private collection Belgium.

"Today's abstract art is only what you see, not more."
Interview Günther Förg with Thomas Goroetz 2004.

Throughout his career, Förg has been fascinated by modernism and its legacy, developing an imagery that subverts its core principles while drawing attention to them. The points of reference in Günther Förg's work range from Russian Constructivism to Italian Rationalismo to Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism. In his work, Förg adopts the standpoint of a postmodern retrospective, so to speak, which has lost the social utopia of the avant-garde. Nevertheless, Förg gives their aesthetic designs a refreshing update, the richness and burden of memory meet the carefree lightness of the here and now. Born in Germany in 1952, Förg experienced the Cologne art scene at its peak in the 1980s, when artists such as Sigmar Polke and Martin Kippenberger irreverently challenged the tradition of painting. Förg's early forays into disciplines such as painting, photography, graphic design and sculpture laid the basis for the ambitious conceptual and philosophical reflections that would define his career across a range of media and diverse bodies of work. In his early monochrome murals and lead works, Förg questions modernist and minimalist concerns from a contemporary perspective. The recurring division of the surface in Förg's oeuvre is rooted in the wall painting. An ensemble of monochrome images on aluminum in the format 100 x 120 centimeters was created as the final assignment at the academy. This was the first step towards space. From 1978 he began painting murals in the tradition of Blinky Palermo. In his own apartment or at a friend's house, he chose a wall and covered half of it with paint. This creates a vertical division in the middle, between the color and the blank wall. After the academy, Förg initially worked as a house painter, the Swiss call it "Flach-Maler", and gained valuable insights for his art. Depending on the condition of the wall, the surface first had to be primed or sanded, then the choice of paint material, either as a finished product or pigments, mixed with the appropriate binder, and finally the decision for the right paintbrush or brush. Later this knowledge helped Förg with the choice of colors and the division of the surfaces in his compositions. He combines contrasting aspects of modern art in an extreme way - geometric rigor meets expressive spontaneity. This polarity is clearly evident in Förg's way of working. On the one hand, he subjects the painting process to a calculated system of formal variations. On the other hand, he leaves central decision-making processes to his mood. His pictures are always created in one go, without being corrected or painted over: "If you have to think for a long time while painting, it becomes difficult. Sometimes I paint a picture and I have problems with it. Then you step back and look at it and just take some blue and paint it blue. I don't think about whether I should paint in blue or not. But I instinctively reach for blue. And that's the nature of things. If you think too long, it gets tiring " (Günther Förg, 1997). The effect of this large-scale work is profoundly compelling, while at the same time emphasizing the artist's unique vision, his ongoing dialogue with the art-historical tradition. [SM]



76
Günther Förg
Metro 4, 2001.
Acrylic on canvas
Estimate:
€ 140,000 / $ 162,400
Sold:
€ 175,000 / $ 203.000

(incl. surcharge)