Günther Förg: A Fragile Beauty

Günther Förg: A Fragile Beauty

Dallas Museum of Art

Günther Förg, Untitled, 2007. Acrylic and oil on canvas. © Estate Günther Förg, Suisse. Courtesy of Matthew B. Gorson.

November 7, 2018
Günther Förg
A Fragile Beauty
October 21, 2018–January 27, 2019
Dallas Museum of Art
1717 North Harwood
Dallas, TX 75201
United States
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The Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) presents the most comprehensive survey to date for renowned German artist Günther Förg (1952-2013), on view from October 21, 2018 through January 27, 2019. The first American museum exhibition dedicated to the artist in nearly three decades, Günther Förg: A Fragile Beauty brings together over 40 years of the artist’s multimedia practice—including works on paper, photography, sculpture, and rarely-exhibited late-career paintings—to provide new insight on the practice and enduring influence of this extraordinary and complex artist. While Förg was actively engaged with art history and the legacy of the masters of modernism, his work displays an irreverence that straddles generations and ideologies prevalent in postwar Germany and beyond.

Reflecting the incredible scope of the artists’ practice, Günther Förg: A Fragile Beauty traces the development of Förg’s pioneering cross-disciplinary work from 1973 to 2009 to offer a new perspective and deepen the understanding and appreciation of his place in art history. Rather than a broadly chronological view, the presentation creates juxtapositions between series and works, demonstrating concerns that the artist returned to throughout his life. The exhibition pivots around these recurrent themes, from his interest in photography and architecture to his revisions of modernist formal motifs in painting and sculpture involving the monochrome, the grid, materiality, and color theory. Förg’s works undeniably fascinate, with their vivid plays of color, spatial relationships, and exploration of material. Yet his multi-media practice frustrates a traditional understanding of beauty. Surfaces imply destruction, reproductions are deliberately imperfect, paint is applied quickly and unevenly, suggesting that achieving an ideal of aesthetic pleasure is far less compelling than an exploration of its limits.

Organized in collaboration with the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam and, in close dialogue with the artist’s estate, Günther Förg: A Fragile Beauty builds on both institutions’ histories with the artist. The exhibition includes major loans from private collections and notable German institutions such as the Städel Museum, Frankfurt and the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich. Günther Förg: A Fragile Beauty is accompanied by a full color, 250-page catalogue, with contributions by Kirsty Bell, Gavin Delahunty, Lisa Le Feuvre, Liam Gillick, Megan Luke, Lauren Richman, Beatrix Ruf, Jeffrey Saletnik and Matthew Witkovsky providing deep, scholarly engagement with the artist’s work.

Günther Förg: A Fragile Beauty is co-organized by the Dallas Museum of Art and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Major support for the Dallas presentation is made possible by Deutsche Bank. Additional generous support is provided by the TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art Fund; the Kadre Family; Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne; Massimo De Carlo, Milan/London/Hong Kong; Galerie Bärbel Grässlin, Frankfurt Main; Greene Naftali, New York; Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin/Paris; Gió Marconi, Milan; and Almine Rech Gallery, Paris/Brussels/London/New York.

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Dallas Museum of Art
November 7, 2018

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