celebrating 10 years of colourful explosion!
EXHIBITION REVIEW ::: Milano, IT
Günther Förg, 10 Anni — Ala — Förg
Salvatore & Caroline Ala Galleria
Wide open spaces. Think big, clear open windows, minimalist fonts used on the text panels + labels, white walls and amazing graphic design. This is the space gallery owners Salvatore and Caroline Ala are more than lucky to have. Now, think an incredible mixing of colors on the palatte before dabbing them on these huge, larger-than-life size canvases… and you now have the work of Günther Förg, a contemporary German artist, who has worked on these conceptual masterpieces for the last decade. The body of work he has created over this period of time is hard to narrow down to a single medium. Add in some of the friendliest, dressed in business casual attire, gallery assistants… who took the liberty to greet you at the door, hand you information about the artist, and even offer you water on that hot June afternoon (acqua naturale o frizzante) and you got what is perhaps the most professional art gallery in all of Milan!
From his early Conceptual Art of the 1970s, Förg has come a long way from the simplistic monochromes and greys. Over the years, he has specialized in photography, sculpture, prints, drawings, and of course, paintings. He also makes installations and murals, in all of which there is a distinct reference to architecture, landscape and form. This rings true in that although Förg’s work is minimalist in nature (due to the constant repetition of his designs), there is always something spontaneous that seeks to erupt out of the paintings and seeks to be different.
Just like what art experts believe to be Cezanne’s last painting (of the garden outside his studio, unfinished), Förg’s work appear to be “almost landcapes” and “almost cityspaces”; the colors, shapes and form bunch together to form an “almost” identified subject matter. It is as if his intention was to finish these paintings to look somewhat representational, but purposely left them “unfinished” in order to instill an air of mystery and wonder for those who view his work. In fact, if you look closely at his canvases, you might just catch a glimpse of where he was headed with his idea. This, my friends, is conceptual art at its very best: born out the mind, conceived by the brain and carried out in an exhasting expression of colors and forms, dancing off the canvas for all the world to see.
This show, which comprises of 19 works of acrylic on canvas (1o of which are in a large format -195 x 230 cm), 6 acrylic collages on paper, 8 pastel designs on paper e 3 square cross-hatched designs on paper… exhibits the work of this German contemporary artist at its very best, while one can truly grasp where he is coming from. It is no wonder that when asked about one of his watercolors, Förg responded with the following quote:
“I have always avoided subject matter. In the watercolors of windows, I was able to approach the subject matter of the window and even let some figures sneak in… Another frequent motif is the staircase, which is the result of one of my favorite movies, Vertigo. Unpleasant, but it haunts me.”