Hauser & Wirth brings the work of Günther Förg, one of the most significant post-war German artists, to Tarmak22 in Gstaad.
The presentation focuses on the later years of Günther Förg’s (1952 – 2013) artistic production and draws on the relationship between works spanning from 1997 to 2009. On view are photo- graphs, acrylic paintings, and works on paper, bringing together the various aspects of the artist’s multidisciplinary practice.
Taken in the Swiss alps in the winter of 1997, the photographs in the exhibition depict landscapes covered in snow and were the source of inspiration for Förg’s series ‘mostly landscapes’, created more than a decade later in 2009, and are presented side-by-side for the first time in this exhibition. ‘Mostly Landscapes’ at Tarmak22 coincides with ‘Günther Förg. Appearance’ at Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles, the first solo exhibition of the artist in Los Angeles.
The scope of Förg’s practice extends to works on paper – executed in a variety of materials from charcoal and oil to ink – that take a more illustrative turn. The works ranging from 2007 to 2009 are reminiscent of Förg’s conceptual photographs of forests, making use of motifs and marks that resemble trees and allude to Alpine landscapes. Earthy colours strengthen the connection to nature and establish a dialogue with the scenery surrounding Tarmak22.
In the 1980s, Förg began exploring new mediums to make works. In particular, he employed photography to reveal geometric forms within everyday life. Included in the exhibition are Förg’s large-format photographs of winter landscapes taken in Switzerland in 1997.
Photographed whilst riding in a carriage through a valley in the Swiss Alps, these black and white works look beyond nature and at linear forms in the surroundings, evoking the monochrome palette of his early works and the gestural marks visible in his paintings. Interested in the struc- ture and form of nature, these photographs went on to influence the motifs Förg would later employ in his work.
Günther Förg was born in 1952 in the region of Allgäu, Germany. His career began in the early 1970s as a student at The Academy of Fine Art Munich. During his studies, Förg developed a practice grounded almost exclusively in grey and black monochrome. These early investigations into gray—also called ‘Gitter’ paintings—demonstrate the beginning of a lifelong commitment to conceptualism. As he stated, ‘Grey is nothing: not white, not black. Something in between. Not concerned with the figure. Something free.’ While the artist later incorporated color into his monochrome series, his use of gray represents a neutral foundation from which he conceived his oeuvre.
Günther FörgMostly Landscapes
Günther Förg’s work is held in numerous public collections, including Broad Contemporary Art Museum, Santa Monica CA; Essl Museum, Klosterneuburg, AT; Fotomuseum Winterthur, CH; Kunstmuseum Basel, CH; Museo d ́arte contemporanea Castello di Rivoli, Turin, IT; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, ES; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main, DE; Museum of Modern Art, New York NY; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, CA; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco CA; S.M.A.K. the Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art, Ghent, BE; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, NL; Tate, London, UK; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis IL; among others. Recent important solo exhibitions include the travelling exhibition ‘A Fragile Beauty’ at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam NL and the Dallas Museum of Art in Dallas TX (2018), and ‘Günther Förg. Works from 1986 – 2007’ at Hauser & Wirth New York (2019) and ‘Günther Förg. surface of bronze‘ at Hauser & Wirth Zurich (2020).
‘Günther Förg. Mostly Landscapes’ is on view now through 16 January 2022 at Hauser & Wirth Tarmak22, Gstaad.