Günther Förg

22 october, 1998 - 10 january, 1999 /
Palacio de Velázquez, Parque del Retiro, Madrid
Exhibition view. Günther Förg, 1998
Exhibition view. Günther Förg, 1998

Günter Förg (Füssen, Germany, 1952) tries to find confirmation or architectural order and a correspondence between form and structure by using his photography and paintings. In this sense Alicia Chillida, exhibition curator, says that the German artist assumes "the geometric grid of modernity, the horizontal-vertical pattern in the fundamental scheme of vision."

Förg follows the photographic trend called New Objectivity, which emerges in Germany in the Eighties and links generationally with photographers: Thomas Ruff, Candida Höfer, Axel Hütte, Andreas Gursky and Thomas Struth. However, Förg distances himself from the rest with his insistence on architecture as witness of a material and social decline, introducing architecture itself as a reality and metaphor of -political or aesthetic- ideology, on which it was built.

In this way the importance he attaches to the modern movement through his chosen methods is no coincidence. The protagonists of his works are buildings such as EUR / E42 by Marcello Piacentini in Rome; the Zuev Club façade; the Ilya Golosov in Moscow; the IG-Farben-Haus by Hans Poelzig in Frankfurt; the Villa Wittgenstein in Vienna; the Haus Lange, the Mies van der Rohe in Krefeld; the Villa Malaparte in Capri; the Adalberto Libera; or the German Pavilion at the International Exhibition in 1929, the Mies van der Rohe, later rebuilt in Barcelona.

Photographic gesture is translated into his work by framing acts by emphasising the windows, which uses as meta-frames of his vision, sometimes voluntarily blurred. In this way Förg stimulates the transparency and invisibility of architecture, as happens in the series dedicated to the Villa Malaparte, which casts a shadow on the inside of the house, in order to concentrate the outside view and configure sequences of wooded landscapes, sea and rocks by setting off a search for correspondence between shadow lines and edges of the building façade, as he did with the German Pavilion of Mies van der Rohe.

The exhibition includes a selection of paintings and sculptures created between 1978 and 1998, where Förg unloads exactly the same concerns as he does in his photographs. In these pieces, and from different media, he explores the idea of construction and organisation from the crosslink and the vertical line, and thus embodies the essence of the rational order and harmony of modern architecture, where reiteration and repetition, as in photographs, brushes against the formal abstraction saturated with the message.

Exhibition´s details

Organized by: 
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía and IVAM Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno
Alicia Chillida
Exhibition Tour: 

Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno IVAM Centre Julio González (January 27 - April 11, 1999); ARKEN Museum for Moderne Kunst, Ishøj, Denmark (January 22 - June 4, 2000)