Günther Förg, Ohne Titel, 1998, Oil on Canvas, 250 x 420 cm, © Sammlung Essl Privatstiftung, Fotonachweis: Archiv des Künstlers.

Günther Förg, a Fascination with Architecture, Expressed in Painting

Günther Förg, Ohne Titel, 1998, Oil on Canvas, 120 x 100 cm, © Sammlung Essl Privatstiftung, Fotonachweis: Mischa Nawrata, Wien.

Günther Förg, Untitled, gouache aur papier.


Essl Museum
An der Donau
+ 43-2243-370 50
Large Hall
Günther Förg, Back and Forth
February 22-June 1, 2008

German painter, sculptor and photographer Günther Förg presents a cross-section of his current work in the Large Hall of the Essl Museum. The artist’s entire oeuvre bears the imprint of his strong fascination with architecture and assembled structures. Italian Rationalism architecture and 20th-century modern buildings are the motifs of his photographic work. As of the 1990s, he created large-format window and grid paintings on canvas or paper. With seemingly hurried brushstrokes and fields of broken colour Förg conjures scintillating effects and moods of lighting that recall the geometric structures of architecture but also the properties of nature and landscapes.

The body of work that Förg has produced in his 30-year career is hard to narrow to a single medium or impulse. He makes sculptures, photographs, prints, drawings, and paintings; his installations and murals might incorporate each of these. In all of his work, there are references to architecture and form, which have served as his main point of departure.

From his early Conceptual work of the 1970s, in which monochromes and grays dominated, Förg began to expand and define a larger, more colorful palette. Because of his use of bold colors, and because of the simplicity and repetition of his designs, he is often associated with Minimalism. But, one must approach the minimalist designation with some hesitation: Förg's work is only minimalist in part. There is an organic and spontaneous quality to it that seems the opposite. Ultimately Förg's work seeks an alternate minimalism that responds as much to Dürer and Rembrandt, as to LeWitt and Albers.

Günther Förg (b. December 5, 1952, Fuessen, southern Bavaria) is a German painter, graphic designer and photographer. He studied from 1973 until 1979 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich with Karl Fred Dahmen. His first individual exhibition took place in 1980 at the Munich gallery Rüdiger Schöttle. From 1992 until 1999 he taught at the Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung in Karlsruhe. In 1996, he was awarded the Wolfgang Hahn Prize. Since 1999, he has worked as a professor in Munich. Förg lives in Areuse.

Günther Förg, Untitled, 2009, courtesy Galeria Carles Taché.

Günther Förg, Untitled, 1991, woodcut.

Günther Förg, Ohne Titel, 1996, Oil on Canvas, 250 x 420 cm, © Sammlung Essl Privatstiftung, Fotonachweis: Archiv des Künstlers.


Günther Förg, Untitled (14 Stations of the Cross), 1989, Bronze, 14 parts , 23½" x 17¾" x 2" each, ed. 3, from Günther Förg, Stations of the Cross, Renaissance Society, Chicago, Illinolis, 1990.