German painter, and photographer. He studied at the Akademie der bildenden Künste in Munich from 1971 to 1974 and was part of the post-war generation of German artists for whom had become tainted with the horrors of Fascism. Ranging from sculpted heads through to architectural , much of Förg's work displays a preoccupation with processes of fragmentation and visual or physical resistance exemplified by the grainy quality of his photographs and his assertive use of glass as a barrier that separates the viewer from the surface while projecting his image onto it. Architectural motifs lend themselves particularly to such treatment. Colonia Marina, Calambrone
(1986; London, Tate) is part of a series of images of children's holiday camps built in the 1930s by the Italian Fascist regime. In an untitled photography (exh. Tokyo, Touko Mus. Contemp. A., 1991; see 1992 exh. cat. pp. 32–6), Förg addressed the Dessau building in a manner that subverts the grandeur of the architectural project, offering a series of fragmentary images of a singularly monolithic structure. Förg's painting style is thoughtfully anachronistic, sometimes recalling the self-assurance of Mondrian's work in geometrical , sometimes the more mystical Barnett Newman. The toxic and heavy surfaces of an untitled work of 1990 (Santa Monica, CA, Broad A. Found.), consisting of 22 paintings on lead-covered wooden , comment on the legacy of history borne by contemporary art.
Gunther Förg: The Threat of Serenity (exh. cat., Llandudno, Mostyn A.G., 1992)
E. Gillen, ed.: German Art from Beckmann to Richter: Images of a Divided Country (Berlin, 1997)
10 December 2000