This new exhibition of Günther Förg (1952-2013) brings together an ensemble of twelve paintings on large sheets of Canson paper, made at the very end of the twentieth century (1996 – 2000). Most of them have never been on show before. Together, they suggest a kind of synopsis of several major artistic trends of the century that was then ending. Förg refused to be pigeon-holed into any artistic school or movement, whether abstract or figurative. He saw himself as a free artist who drew inspiration as much from observing reality around him as from the work of the major artists he admired. He considered painting on paper to be just as important as works on canvas. A previous exhibition at Galerie Lelong in 2015 displayed very large paper works from 1989-90.
This new grouping of works evokes – in an allusive and never ponderous manner – Ernst Wilhelm Nay or Nicolas de Staël, of Edvard Munch or Alberto Giacometti (the knee), as well as the artist’s own recurrent themes and structures such as grids and windows. Each of these works evinces the marvellous ease and accuracy that characterised the artist’s touch, the suppleness and liveliness of his brush. Ten years after his untimely death, his work has achieved a solid reputation internationally, a model of freedom that has become a point of reference and an inspiration for many young artists.
Günther Förg was born in 1952 in Füssen (Germany) and died in Fribourg in 2013. Since 1997, Galerie Lelong has held ten exhibitions by Günther Förg in Paris and published several catalogues. His oeuvre was the subject of a major retrospective in 2018 at the Stedelijk Museum and the Dallas Museum of Art entitled Günther Förg - A Fragile Beauty.