previews

  • “Günther Förg: A Fragile Beauty”

    Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
    Museumplein 10
    May 26 - October 14

    Curated by Hripsimé Visser and Fabienne Chiang

    A Cologne-scene contemporary of Albert Oehlen and Martin Kippenberger, Günther Förg could easily be mistaken for a cynic, an artist whose blunt allusions to Barnett Newman, Piet Mondrian, and the Bauhaus were calculated simulacral feints in painting’s dismal 1980s endgame. But such a reading fails to account for the richness, depth, and, yes, even sincerity of the German artist’s oeuvre, which includes not only paintings (on weird, unorthodox grounds such as aluminum and lead), but also stark wall drawings, darkly fascinating photographs, and cerebral architectural experiments influenced by his idol, Blinky Palermo. As younger generations of artists continue to revisit the formal vocabulary of modernism’s past, Förg’s art—which the Stedelijk’s retrospective will survey in full—remains an important model: one unencumbered by the twin deadweights of irony and melancholy and filled with a serious and sustained (though never fully credulous) commitment to the twentieth century’s endlessly generative legacy. Travels to the Dallas Museum of Art, October 21, 2018–January 27, 2019.