VALENCIA.- In the 1970s, Imi Knoebel concerned himself with the fundamental problem in painting in series of white images. From this purist form language, he developed works with overlapping rectangles in bright colors with, in part, clearly gestural color application. Many of these monochromatic paintings were made for a specific spatial or light situation.
Imi Knoebel is one of the most famous painters in the field of non-figurative Abstract Art. He was a student in Joseph Beuys master class when he began to seriously question the role of painting and the image, and in 1968 he had already formulated the first principle of his artistic practice with Raum 19, which have influenced his work, right up to the present day: this is the principle of the layering of individual elements, which are then repeatedly juxtaposed in ever-changing variations.
Knoebel has worked in the border region between painting and sculpture. Always moving between intuition and calculation, over the next 40 years, during the various phases of his artistic production, geometric forms and colour are investigated in an impressive variety of ways.
Imi Knoebel was born in Dessau, Germany, in 1940. From 1963 to 1971, he was a student of Joseph Beuys at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. His first exhibition, IMI + IMI, with Imi Giese, a fellow student of Beuyss, was held in Copenhagen in 1968. Since that time, Knoebel has exhibited his works in Documentas 5 (1972), 6 (1977), 7 (1982), and 8 (1987), and at Sonsbeek (1971). In 1987 Knoebel oversaw an installation of his own work, as well as that of Beuys and Blinky Palermo, for the inaugural exhibitions at Dias galleries on West 22nd Street in New York City. In 199697, a retrospective of his work traveled throughout Europe, to such venues as Haus der Kunst, Munich; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and Institut Valencià dArt Modern, Centre Julio González, Valencia. In summer 2009, he will have a major retrospective at the Hamburger Bahnhof and the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin.