artist / participant
This spring the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam illuminates the rich oeuvre of the German artist Günther Förg. The survey features no fewer than 100 works, including some pieces never seen before in a museum.
A major survey of the German artist Günther Förg (1952–2013) opens at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam on 26 May 2018. Under the title A Fragile Beauty, the show reveals the full breadth and scope of Förg’s oeuvre. Taking its cue from the artist himself—who presented his work in installations conceived with exquisite precision—each room is individual in nature. Included are Förg’s early monochrome paintings, together with his color studies, (architectural) photographs, sculptures, and late spot paintings. A Fragile Beauty traces the entire trajectory of Förg’s career. This comprehensive survey offers audiences a chance to engage with the complexity of his themes and fascinations, and witness the evolution of his experimental, radical approach.
Günther Förg was as equally influential on the 20th century German art scene as, for example, Martin Kippenberger. He produced photographs and paintings, as well as wall paintings, sculptures, and reliefs. In the 1980s and ’90s 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. His work contains references to famous predecessors and artists he admired, such as Edvard Munch, Philip Guston, Barnett Newman, and Clyfford Still. Förg’s interdisciplinary practice questioned artistic conventions and analyzed modernism and its aesthetic.
Relationship with the Stedelijk
The Stedelijk and Förg maintained a close relationship that first flourished in the 1980s. The museum began collecting Förg early on his career and regularly made his work the subject of presentations, publications, and debate. In 1985 Wim Beeren, director from 1985 until 1993, held the exhibition Günther Förg & Jeff Wall. In 1995 Rudi Fuchs, director from 1993 until 2003, staged a solo exhibition of Förg’s work. The following year the Stedelijk exhibited his Italienbilder, photographs that were a gift to the museum from the artist.
About Günther Förg
Günther Förg was born in 1952 in Füssen im Allgäu, Germany. From 1973 to 1979 he studied under Karl Fred Dahmen at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste München. In 1980 he held his first solo exhibition at Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle in Munich. Förg was invited to take part in Documenta IX in Kassel in 1992. From 1992 to 1999 he taught at the Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe. In 1996 Förg was the recipient of the Wolfgang-Hahn-Preis. He was professor at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste München from 1999 to 2013. Förg died in Freiburg, Germany, at the age of 61.
Gavin Delahunty and Chelsea Pierce, eds.: Günther Förg: A Fragile Beauty, 248 pages. Published by the Dallas Museum of Art, distributed by Yale University Press. Graphic design by Joseph Logan Design. Contributors: Kirsty Bell, Gavin Delahunty, Liam Gillick and Matthew S. Witkovsky, Lisa Le Feuvre, Megan Luke, Lauren Richman, Beatrix Ruf, Jeffrey Saletnik.