Förg in Venice at Palazzo Contarini Polignac in Venice

Förg in Venice is the official collateral event of the 58th. Venice Biennale set up in the Palazzo Contarini Polignac.

Palazzo Contarini Polignac in Venice is hosting until August 23, 2019 Förg in Venice, an official collateral event of the 58. Venice Biennale.

Produced in close collaboration with theEstate of Günther Förg and presented by the Dallas Museum of Art, the exhibition showcases more than thirty works from Förg’s multidisciplinary career, from paintings to sculptures.

Förg in Venice presents this multifaceted artist from a new perspective, in a Venetian setting where furnishings and decorations will play a key role in contextualizing the art. The public will be offered an in-depth overview of the aesthetic and conceptual themes addressed by Förg, not only from the point of view of artistic production, but also in relation to the context in which the works are exhibited. The German artist, among the most significant of the postwar generation, believed that the space, location and positioning of one of his works was intrinsic to the work itself. Throughout his career, Förg painted on gallery walls, used doors and windows as integral elements, and went so far as to use the paint on some of his works to create a play on reflections. On numerous occasions, he installed his works within historical contexts; in the Palazzo Contarini Polignac, visitors have the opportunity to question the artist’s relationship with the history of art and architecture, thanks to the integration of a rich body of work in the palace’s rooms.

On the ground floor, a large-scale minimalist painting depicting a window, Untitled (2004), is flanked by some preparatory sketches of the work. Despite their strong geometry, Förg’s windows are provocative in that they offer a frame within which to look, but without providing any view; instead, they direct and limit the gaze, questioning the visual act and aesthetics themselves.
In the Palace Hall, four Spot Painting-style paintings made between 2007 and 2009 are presented in front of four large tapestries. In these abstract, gestural works, the horizontal segments of the vertical brushstrokes recall the refined doodles of Cy Twombly. These Spot Paintings give the idea that they were produced quickly, but they are actually the result as much of the artist’s quick intuition as of careful reflection. Gathered together, the four paintings are evidence of the artist’s thoughtful and relentless experimentation with color combinations, paint applications, compositions and rhythms within a single series of paintings.
In the Hall of Mirrors, sculptures made in 1990 are placed. These figurative sculptures, including bronze masks on rough plywood pedestals, explore the possibilities and limits of matter.
Several abstract paintings by Förg dating from the 1980s to the 1990s are also visible along the side rooms of the palace.

The exhibition aims to highlight the artist’s experimentation, grouping the various strands and conceptual influences that affected his production.

Förg in Venice is curated by Elisa Schaar.

Image: Günther Förg, Untitled (2005; acrylic on MDF, 55 x 45 cm) © Estate Günther Förg, Suisse / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019. Courtesy Estate Günther Förg, Suisse and Hauser & Wirth.

Förg in Venice at Palazzo Contarini Polignac in Venice
Förg in Venice at Palazzo Contarini Polignac in Venice

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