Berlin – Imi Knoebel: “Rosa Ort” at Kewenig Through April 26th, 2014

April 26th, 2014

Imi Knoebel, Bild 13.11.2013 (2013) all images courtesy Kewenig
Imi Knoebel, Bild 13.11.2013 (2013) all images courtesy Kewenig

On display at Kewenig in Berlin, Germany from March 8th through April 26th is a new series of paintings by German artist Imi Knoebel, comprised of solid-colored aluminum plates in various forms made with acrylic paint. The works have been interpreted both as paintings and flat wall sculptures, hovering weightlessly in their large-scale formats. Non-representational and highly reductive, the series challenges even the artist’s own minimalistic practice in their adherence principally to form and color.

Imi Knoebel, Rosa Ort, (Installation View)
Imi Knoebel, Rosa Ort, (Installation View)

Knoebel (born Klaus Wolf Knoebel) studied under Joseph Beuys at the Düsseldorf Art Academy, and created the moniker “Imi,” to explore an artistic identity from a purist, experimental stance which was exactly opposite of those encouraged and practiced by Beuys.  An extension of this persona, Knoebel’s works use painted aluminum plates joined together into a plane through shadow-joints. He has taken up the challenge to work mainly with the “non-colors” black and white, similar to his Linienbilder (Line Paintings) of the 1960s.

Imi Knoebel, Bild 27.09.2013 (2013)
Imi Knoebel, Bild 27.09.2013 (2013)

Ort – Rosa (Place – Pink), after which the show was named, is the epitome of Knoebel’s dedication to dealing with space: a 3D spatial formation including two colored walls joined at right angles, transforming the concept of color into a space, so that the feeling of being can be defined only by color. The idea is that the viewer “walks into color,” removing it from the painting convention of employing only two dimensions.

Imi Knoebel, Rosa Ort, (Installation View)
Imi Knoebel, Rosa Ort (Installation View)

Knoebel is known for meticulously mixing his colors, first applying them to paper and making models of the larger final product. Usually, the works are completely solid in one color, but on the floor of the final work, Ort – Rosa (2013) is a massive, obvious brushstroke, to remind the viewer that it is a painted work created by a human holding a paintbrush.

Imi Knoebel, Bild 06.09.2013 (2013)
Imi Knoebel, Bild 06.09.2013 (2013)

A resident of Düsseldorf, Imi Knoebel has exhibited at documenta 5, 6, 7, and 8 and his work 24 Colors – for Blinky has been on permanent display at the Dia Art Foundation since 2008.  The Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin displayed a major retrospective of his works in 2009, and he has designed six church windows for one of the most important buildings of the French High Gothic, the cathedral Notre Dame de Reims,  In October of 2014 the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg will be presenting a solo exhibition of his work.

The current exhibition at Kewenig in Berlin will continue through April 26, 2014.

Imi Knoebel, Rosa Ort, (Installation View)
Imi Knoebel, Rosa Ort (Installation View)

Imi Knoebel, Bild 06.02.2014 (2014)
Imi Knoebel, Bild 06.02.2014 (2014)

Imi Knoebel, Rosa Ort, (Installation View)
Imi Knoebel, Rosa Ort, (Installation View) 

—E. Baker

Related Links:
Exhibition Page [Kewenig]