Imi Knoebel: Primary Structures 1966/2006
23 September – 16 December 2006
Exhibition in Galleries 1, 2 and 3
This autumn the Henry Moore Institute presents the first major solo show of Imi Knoebel (b. 1940) to be held in Britain.
Despite his international reputation Knoebel’s work has rarely been seen in this country. Displaying early and recent works this exhibition examines the relationship between painting and sculpture, demonstrating not only the constructed quality of painting, but also the relationship between painting and installation.
Imi Knoebel adopted his professional name when he went to study alongside Joseph Beuys in Düsseldorf Akademie in 1968. Attracted by Beuys’ reputation, but preferring to keep a certain distance from the master whose student numbers were constantly growing, Knoebel established himself in the atelier next door. The number of this room (Room 19) gave its name to the artist’s first major piece, and a work which will be shown, in reconstructed form, in Leeds.
This exhibition coincides with Knoebel’s re-visiting of this fruitful early period, and allows us to show a number of key pieces which constituted his original practice. These works, from the late 1960s and early 1970s, used simple gestures and means to establish the artist’s basic vocabulary. They highlight the importance of support and of the addition of line, or colour or light. They will be shown in their original format, or where the technology has changed, in the most appropriate form for today.
Alongside this largely monochromatic, predominantly conceptual introduction, we shall also show a number of Knoebel’s most recent paintings. To an extent they use the same means - plain materials fastened together in a straightforward way - but their intensively studied and luscious colour combinations make them works which transcend their construction.
Imi Knoebel has most recently had solo shows at the Kestner Gesellschaft, Hannover (2002); Kunstraum 21, Köln (2002); Kunstverein Braunschweig (2002); Hamburger Kunsthalle (2004); and Weimar Kunsthalle (2005).