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Structures for Viewing: Deweer Gallery in Belgium opens group exhibition
Imi Knoebel, Grace Kelly (III-2), 1990. Acrylic on wood, 254 x 172,2 cm.

OTEGEM.- The exhibition ‘Structures for Viewing’ brings work together of four artists who maintain a modernist view on things. Each of them is committed to the development of a (partly) abstract and mostly autonomous imagery.

Günther Förg masterly showcased the essence of colour, the importance of the gesture that makes the colour sensation possible, the importance and possibilities of the carrier, the various possibilities of the form that develops within a given format, and finally his own creativity and virtuosity, in the way he creates, within these minimal boundaries, very beautiful, haunting paintings…Especially his creativity and virtuosity to realize within these boundaries paintings of exceptional intensity, have made Günther Förg one of the most leading artists of his generation. In the paintings selected for this exhibition we observe a number or often recurring aspects of Förg’s approach: the shadings in black paint suggest depth and at once disturb our reading of the rest of the composition.

Günther Förg was born in Füssen, Germany, in 1952 and died on December 5th 2013. His most important and most recent solo exhibitions were organized by the Fondation Beyeler (Riehen/Basel, 2009-2010), the Essl Museum (Klosterneuburg/Vienna, 2008), the Langen Foundation (Neuss, 2007) and the Museum für Gegenwartskunst (Basel, 2006). Deweer Gallery introduced Günther Förg in the 1991 group exhibition “To Return to Base” (with Tony Cragg, Jiri Georg Dokoupil, Imi Knoebel and Gerhard Merz) and presented Günther Förg with three one-man shows: in 1995 and in 2000 (with catalogue) and in 2013.

Melissa Gordon’s paintings and graphic works continues to build on the relation between representation and abstraction, between seeing and reading. She often makes enlargements of details to reveal hidden structures and therefor focuses on the level on which textual and visual information are reduced to dots and lines. She works on materials that can be considered as side products of history, as well of the making as of the medium: the grid structure of a modernist painting, the dot matrix of a screen-print, or details from her studio. ‘Structures for viewing’ is a work that was produced during Gordon’s residency at Spike Island and the Spike Print Studio in Bristol, UK. It consists of a frame hung from pulleys in front of two screen-printed canvases at the wall. In the frame parallel lines of red rope to form a shaded pattern. From one angle the frame presents a grid through which the works on the wall can be observed; from another angle the frame presents a full field of colour. The work that adheres to both screen-print, painting and installation refers to the use of perspective techniques from the traditions of both theatre and painting.

Melissa Gordon is an American-born and London-based painter, printmaker and editor. Recent exhibitions include Material Evidence (Spike Island, Bristol 2013), HERstories (Bonner Kunstverein 2013), Art & Press (Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin & ZKM, Frankfurt, 2012-13). She has also exhibited at S1 Artspace, Sheffield, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Marres Centre for Contemporary Culture, Maastricht, and Kunsthalle Dusseldorf. She is currently working on the catalogue Material Evidence, that will be published by Sternberg Press in February 2014.

Between 1989 and 1990 Imi Knoebel made 33 paintings - divided over six series – entitled ‘Grace Kelly’. The work in this exhibition is the second from the third series. The paintings of Imi Knoebel are images of an idea. How can one represent the idea of ‘portrait’? All Grace Kelly paintings are of the same size and are composed with the same five elements. The composition of three vertical rectangles of different colours next to and between two horizontal rectangles is to Imi Knoebel the formal solution to represent the idea of portrait . It is important to point out that each colour field is the painted side of a separate wooden element and that the work is thus composed out of screwed together, differently painted parts. As a consequence, the seams of the construction or composition run across the image plane.

Imi Knoebel was born in Dessau, Germany, in 1940. He lives and works in Düsseldorf, Germany. He had solo exhibitions in a.o. Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Germany (2013), Mudam - Musée d’art moderne, Luxemburg (2011), Neue Nationalgalerie, Deutsche Guggenheim, Staatliche Museen (all in Berlin, 2009), Dia: Beacon, Beacon, New York, USA (2008), Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, UK (2006), and Kestner Gesellschaft, Hanover, Germany (2002).

Shirana Shahbazi’s oeuvre explores the relation between images and image surfaces, and between different media and their iconic qualities. Her observation is determined by Western painting; her recent still-lives for example refer to motives taken from cubism or constructivism and concrete art. Shahbazi has recently brought her work to a new level of abstraction, with free application of colours and geometric forms. Shahbazi realizes these works by making photographs of real geometric shapes and coloured objects arranged in the format of a still-life.

Shirana Shahbazi was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1974. She lives and works in Zurich. Shahbazi took part in the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003 and had exhibitions in a.o. MoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York (2013), Fotomuseum Winterthur (2011), New Museum, New York (2011), and The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2008). Her work is in public collections worldwide, including those of MoMA, New York, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Huis Marseille, Amsterdam, MUSAC, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, Spain, Tate Modern, London, and The National Museum of Photography, Copenhagen.

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