Galerie Max Hetzler exhibition may 2004
This catalogue is published in collaboration with Holzwarth Publications, Berlin, edited by Thomas Groetz. It contains a selection of paintings from 1973 to 1990, an interview with the artist and an essay by Siegfried Gohr.
Förg started to work with monochrome surfaces with huge grey canvases between 1973 till the end of the seventies. Then the artist received fresh impetus for carrying on with canvas painting, by experiences resulting from his wall painting works he did since 1978. First Förg used only one colour to paint ceilings and/or walls. Soon vertical and horizontal bisections were used to deal with the contrast of different colours. This procedure was transferred to painting. During the eighties his paintings became structured. The compositional work culminates in sets like the 32-part series from 1987 that originally was developed for the Museum Haus Lange in Krefeld. This series shows complex arrangements, a formal ´alphabet´ with differing surface divisions.
In this exhibition the paintings are complemented by six large photographs from 2001. These are part of a series that deals with classical modern architecture in Turkey. In the twenties of the last century the West European oriented Turkish leader Kemal Atatürk invited among others the German and Austrian architects Bruno Taut, Clemens Holzmeister and Ernst Egli, to create official buildings in Istanbul and especially in Ankara, the new capital.
Günther Förg takes hold on these architectures with his typical quick and spontaneous working method. Sometimes the artist approaches the building as a whole, sometimes he choses insights into the architectural structure of a court yard, then the view goes to the front of a building that dynamically grows into the sky. The photographs seem to be an unsentimental representation and an homage to a period in art history, where clear formal solutions, harmony and elegance predominated.