Imi Knoebel at Galerie Christian Lethert

Imi Knoebel, 2018. Installation view, Galerie Christian Lethert. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Christian Lethert. Photo: Simon Vogel.

Imi Knoebel

November 16, 2018–February 23, 2019

Galerie Christian Lethert
Antwerpener Str. 52
50672 Cologne
Hours: Tuesday–Friday 2–6pm,
Saturday 11am–4pm

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The artist Imi Knoebel from Dusseldorf will be presenting works of a radical, minimalistic form language at the Christian Lethert gallery. Alongside “Mennigebild,” the exhibition combines works from the “Betoni” and “Cementi” series and also shows the film Reichsstraße 51.

The “Mennigebild” pictures are irregular polygons resulting from the fusion of rectangular shapes. Through this method of layering, Imi Knoebel has developed an exciting arsenal of forms. The title refers to the Mennige anti-rust paint the artist initially used for the monochrome surface of the large-format plywood panels; thus it was the first colour to enter his oeuvre. However, the work on show, Mennigebild 6/53, was painted with black iron oxide. “Mennigebilder” were shown for the first time in 1981 at the Dia Art Foundation in Cologne, and since 1982, eight pictures and two sculptures are in the possession of the foundation.

With his “Betoni” (1990)—polygonal, differently coloured, partly cut and polished concrete castings hanging on the wall in relief—Imi Knoebel also experiments with industrially manufactured materials and an inexhaustible geometric play of forms. However, the rectangular shape of the “Cementi” (1991), immersed in a wide variety of colour combinations, remains uniform. Only a seemingly organic aspect reminds us that it is a “liquid stone” that can be formed flexibly before it hardens.

The showing of the film Reichsstr. 51, shot by Walter Dahn, Johannes Stüttgen, and Boscher Theodor in 1991, rounds off the exhibition.

We would like to thank Prof. Martin Schulz from the Bremen Academy of Art for his introduction to the exhibition. A catalogue with his contribution will be published next year.

Imi Knoebel, born in Dessau in 1940, studied under Joseph Beuys at the Dusseldorf Academy of Art. He has participated at Documenta many times, and his works are exhibited in museums all over the world: i.a. 2018 in Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich; 2017 in Skulpturenpark Waldfrieden, Wuppertal; 2016 in Musée National Fernand Léger, Biot, France. In 2006, Imi Knoebel received an honorary doctorate from the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, in 2011 he was awarded the Kythera Prize, and in 2016 the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

Until December 9, we are showing at NADA Miami and are looking forward to welcome you at booth #1.10. From March 20 to 23 we will be represented at Art Dubai, and from April 11 to 14 we will be exhibiting again at Art Cologne.

Imi Knoebel at Galerie Christian Lethert

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