Hall for Contemporary Art 31 July — 25 October 2015

Günther Förg’s (1952–2013) murals are one of the central aspects of his entire oeuvre. They opened up a variety of possibilities for him to present his works when combined with photography and painting, and they were always intended to clarify space and lend rhythm to its internal structure. Over the course of his life he created some 140 murals. A selection of 25 of these large-scale works will be presented at the Deichtorhallen Hamburg from 31 July to 25 October 2015 in collaboration with the estate of Günther Förg.

Förg began creating color murals in 1978 while he was still an art academy student. He often joked that this came naturally to him, since during his studies he frequently earned extra money as a painter. Conceptually, from the beginning Förg’s murals allowed him to expand the boundaries of the panel painting. At the same time, his light-footed appropriation made him every bit an equal to famous predecessors such as Malevich, Schwitters, Rothko, and Palermo. No small number of his contemporary colleagues envy the artist today for his ability to masterfully deal with individual rooms and even whole series of rooms.

In an interview several years ago Förg divided this important group of works into various types: “. . . at first there were vertically and then horizontally halved walls. There are also sequences of colors with various juxtaposed color fields. There were rooms in which all four walls were painted in a different color. Various paintings were created in public or semi-public spaces. These works emphasize the architecture, which becomes visible and/or is highlighted by the painting. The colors relate to the place. There were also murals with color fields and stripes as well as murals that are similar to panel paintings.”

Günther Förg looked forward to the exhibition of his murals at the Deichtorhallen, which was ultimately realized posthumously after his early death at the age of only 61. Like a restaging of a piece of choreography, the murals will be brought back to life according to the artist’s detailed specifications in the larger of the two main halls of the Deichtorhallen. Both Förg’s first mural from 1978 at a private home in Günzach as well as his last mural from 2013 at Galerie Gisela Capitain in Cologne will be shown in the exhibition alongside works from every decade of his oeuvre.

Parallel to the exhibition, a catalogue raisonné of the murals as well as a volume on the exhibition in Hamburg will be published by Snoeck.

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