Günther Förg - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Wednesday, October 2, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Video

    Günther Förg, 'Untitled', Lot 31

    20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale, 2 October 2019

  • Provenance

    Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin
    Patrick De Brock, Knokke-Heist
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Literature

    We thank Mr. Michael Neff from the Estate of Günther Förg for the information he has kindly provided on this work.

  • Catalogue Essay

    An arrestingly elegant example of Günther Förg’s multifaceted oeuvre, Untitled, 1990, belongs to the artist’s iconic and exhaustive series of Lead Paintings, developed from the late 1980s to the early 1990s. In these works, Förg juxtaposes acrylic and lead to reveal unique tonal and textural variations deriving from the metallic material’s progressive oxidisation. Celebrating the charismatic presence of its two sobre and understated hues, the present painting collides a natural, silvery pigment with a deep, rich purple in a clear geometric structure. The two rectangular blocks’ neat separation summons the rigour and formality of minimalist works, namely calling to mind Barnett Newman’s infamous Zip paintings, which similarly employed verticality – embodied by one or more stripes – to break up the picture plane.

    Yet it is the materiality of the present work that most potently distinguishes it from other two-dimensional abstractions. ‘I like very much the qualities of lead – the surface, the heaviness’, claimed the artist. ‘Some of the paintings were completely painted, and you only experience the lead at the edges; this gives the painting a very heavy feeling - it gives the colour a different density and weight. In other works the materials would be explicitly visible as grounds. I like to react on things, with the normal canvas you often have to kill the ground, give it something to react against. With the metals you already have something - its scratches, scrapes’ (Günther Förg, quoted in David Ryan, Talking Painting, Karlsruhe, 1997, online).

Property of an Important Belgian Collector



signed and dated 'Förg 90 Förg 90' on the reverse
acrylic on lead on wood
239.2 x 160.5 cm (94 1/8 x 63 1/4 in.)
Painted in 1990, this work is recorded in the archive of Günther Förg as No. WVF.90.B.0902.

£250,000 - 350,000 

Sold for £325,000

Contact Specialist

Olivia Thornton
Senior Director
Head of 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Europe
+44 20 7318 4099


Rosanna Widén
Director, Senior Specialist
+44 20 7318 4060

20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

London Auction 2 October 2019