In homage to German abstract art, Dep Art Gallery is organizing an exhibition dedicated to Günter Fruhtrunk (München, 1923 – 1982), Winfred Gaul (Düsseldorf, 1928 – 2003), Ulrich Erben (Düsseldorf, 1940), Imi Knoebel (Dresden, 1940), Günter Umberg (Bonn, 1942) and Wolfram Ullrich (Würzburg, 1961). Through a concise dialogue which addresses different generations, the exhibition reveals how the six artists have distinctively approached the study of space, color and geometry.
It is noteworthy that in the arch of half a century, very rarely have Italian exhibitions examined the development of German abstract art. Publications dedicated to this subject are equally scarce. Dep Art Gallery proposes a researched study which dismantles conformism and nationalism with a small but significant group of artists belonging to various generations. In this way, it allows us to reconsider the latest abstraction developments and productions from the Teutonic region.
To conduct a thorough investigation, Günter Fruhtrunk and Winfred Gaul were summoned as bastions for a study which draws from Josef Albers’ lessons, sanctioning a revival of abstract painting from the middle of the last century. Represented by Ulrich Erben, Imi Knoebel and Günter Umberg, artists from successive generations will continue to question and reinvent geometric structures, challenging the laws of monochrome. In particular, Knoebel will introduce the “imbalance between interior and exterior,” a concept on which his successors will insist. This is exemplified by Wolfram Ullrich who characteristically decentralizes geometry toward the perimeter of his works.
The six chosen artists - which identify many exempla and variations on the theme - will make exhibition viewers reflect on the essence of the Latin word abstrahere (“abstraction” or literally “to draw out”). The works on display will allow viewers to “detach” and “translate” in geometric forms the need for a change from the past.
The exhibition is accompanied by a bilingual volume (Italian/English) realized by Dep Art, curated by Alberto Zanchetta, with an essay written by the curator, as well as reproductions of all the works on display.