Biography of Günther Förg
German post-war artist Günther Förg is renowned for his critique of the modern art canon. His oeuvre is complex and varied, encompassing paintings, drawings, prints, photography, and sculptural works. The multi-disciplinary nature to his practice meant he resisted categorization, creating works that were unpredictable in style, medium and subject and that constantly challenged the boundaries between disciplines and movements.
Despite this constant experimental and radical approach, Günther Förg did largely work in the abstract with a sustained focus on the geometric, and was heavily influenced by modern architecture. He is perhaps best known for his monochrome wall paintings and use of unconventional materials such as lead and wood and also his photographs of the Bauhaus. Using photography, Günther Förg explored the relationship between austere modernist architecture and fascist ideology. While still concerned with the aesthetics of Bauhaus architecture, his paintings are more of an exploration of the medium itself and engage Günther Förg in a dialogue with painters such as his former colleague Blinky Palermo and major influence Ellsworth Kelly.
Born in 1952 in Füssen, Germany, Förg studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. For nearly ten years he was a lecturer at the Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung in Karlsruhe. He died in 2013, leaving behind a body of work that pioneered the idea of installation art and that continues to inspire contemporary artists today.
Günther Förg received substantial international acclaim during his lifetime and has had a number of major international exhibitions at prestigious galleries worldwide. Solo shows of his work have been held at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Kunstmuseum Basel, the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Kunsthalle Bremen and at Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin. Günther Förg’s work is in many major collections worldwide such as the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin and the Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt am Main. He won the Wolfgang Hahn Prize in 1996 and his work was also shown as part of documenta 9 in 1992.