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 are delighted that Prof. Martin Schulz from the Bremen Academy of Art will hold the opening speech.
Imi Knoebel, born in Dessau in 1940, studied under Joseph Beuys at the Dusseldorf Academy of Art. He has participated at the 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.