Günther Förg, Wall Partition I, 1986-1993, white emulsion paint and full-tone ochre acrylic paint, ca. 466 x 805 cm.; 183 1/2 x 316 7/8 in.

Günther Förg, Wall Partition I, 1986-1993, white emulsion paint and full-tone ochre acrylic paint, ca. 466 x 805 cm.; 183 1/2 x 316 7/8 in.

Günther Förg, Wall Partition I, 1986-1993, white emulsion paint and full-tone ochre acrylic paint, ca. 466 x 805 cm.; 183 1/2 x 316 7/8 in.

GÜNTHER FÖRG

Wall Partition I

Günther Förg made his first wall painting in 1978, whilst he was still a student at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste München, just a year before he took a hiatus from conventional painting to focus on other artistic formats. The artist vertically divided the wall in a friend’s apartment, painting the left-hand side with red tempera paint, hereby at once highlighting and altering the perception of the room’s architectural features. At this early point in his career, this was a radical and ingenious gesture in his search for alternatives to canvas as supports for painting, which he also found in materials such as cloth, wood, aluminium, and lead. By integrating both wall and space in a pictorial dimension—as Blinky Palermo or Sol LeWitt had done before him—Förg announced the growing role of architecture in his practice.

Over the years, the artist intuitively expanded his practice in both public and private spaces, with wall paintings in single rooms to more complex realisations with multiple colours, fields and sequences, often giving rise to installations. Between 1980 and 1994, Förg created close to 100 wall paintings, which were often combined with photographs, mirrors or even text. Some were meant for outdoor spaces, as with the present work. Referring back to Förg’s first solo exhibition in 1980 at Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle in Munich—for which the artist solely painted the ceiling in grey—art historian Christian Malycha speaks of an “elemental gesture”, as it “hones the aesthetic experience towards spaces, place, body.” “In face of the architectural structure and Förg’s intervention, every beholder is physically challenged to find and uphold his or her uncertain position.”

An edition of 12, Wall Partition I, 1986-1993 forms part of a group of wall works and installations commissioned by Shellmann Art, and which includes works by Darren Almond, Daniel Buren, Donald Judd, Imi Knoebel, Sol LeWitt, Vera Lutter and Julian Schnabel, among others. A selection comprising another edition from the present work was included in the group exhibition Wall Works at the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin in 2013-2014.

Günther Förg, Wall Partition I, 1986-1993

Günther Förg, Wall Partition I, 1986-1993
weiße Dispersionsfarbe und vollton Goldocker mit Reinacrylatfarbe abgesetzt
ca. 466 x 805 cm.; 183 1/2 x 316 7/8 in.