Biography of Imi Knoebel
The influence of Bauhaus and its artists such as Johannes Itten and Lászlo Moholy-Nagy is very apparent in Imi Knoebel's (born 1940 in Dessau, DE) oeuvre, who began his education with courses in Constructivist and structural painting, lessons that clearly marked his approach to painting. Also a student under Joseph Beuys, Knoebel's fascination lies in pushing the boundaries between the relationship of space, picture support and colour. At the beginning of his career, Knoebel would reduce the works to pure linear compositions, working with sources of light and white surfaces, as inspired by Kasimir Malevich. It was only in 1974 that Knoebel introduced colour into his work, with an emphasis on the primary colours. Preferably working with wood or metal, Knoebel will place and overlap geometric shapes to create three-dimensional structures to be hung on the wall. The idea of constructing and deconstructing the canvas to create sculptural paintings is prevalent in Knoebel's works, something that is continued on in his multiples as he does not limit himself to lithographs or representations of unique works.
For example the Keilrahmen (1968/1989) is a simple wooden frame and an edition of 1000. Interesting here is that the support structure for the artwork actually becomes the artwork, in all its simplicity. Another example of interesting use of materials is Cementi from 1992 (edition of 100), which is a piece of concrete with ferric oxide that hangs seemingly weightless on the wall. Imi Knoebel's use and positioning of various materials and colours are uncanny, even in his multiples.