Exhibition view with geometric abstract wall objects by Imi Knoebel.
Sammlung Goetz

Imi Knoebel

With a retrospective exhibition, the Sammlung Goetz will honor the artist Imi Knoebel, who developed his own minimalist and conceptual formal vocabulary. The entire breadth of Knoebel’s artistic output—from the black-and-white photographs of the 1960s to the fiberboard paintings and objects made of cast concrete and finally his most recent acrylic paintings on aluminum—will be on view. The presentation includes not only the artist’s geometric and minimalist works, but also his rarely exhibited expressive paintings from the 1980s.

The work of Imi Knoebel (*1940) spans more than five decades. An outstanding representative of resolutely non-objective painting, Knoebel’s goal from the beginning has been to break the genre’s boundaries and conquer space. He studied at the Düsseldorf Art Academy in the class of Joseph Beuys and—together with Rainer Giese—earned the right to use the legendary Room 19, which became an  experimentation space for the two young artists.

Another important reference for Knoebel was a fellow student in Beuys’ class, Blinky Palermo, a colorist. After Palermo’s untimely death, Knoebel—who until then had worked mainly in black and white—adopted Palermo’s legacy and began to employ color. His first colored works were the hard-fiber paintings executed in red lead, a rust-proofing agent. By 1977, however, he was using the entire palette.

The Sammlung Goetz, which includes nearly 40 works by the artist from five decades, is honoring the “young-at-heart old master of radically non-objective painting” with a retrospective exhibition. The show was organized in close collaboration with Imi Knoebel and his wife Carmen. A chronological or thematic presentation was intentionally rejected. Instead, the presentation focuses on cross-references that reveal formal and thematic connections within Knoebel’s artistic oeuvre. 

Knoebel’s passion for experimentation has been a constant companion. This is evident not only in his enormous variety of different color combinations, but also in the artist’s use of different materials. The exhibition includes, for example, paintings on hardboard, plywood and aluminum, as well as objects made of cast concrete.

Curator: Karsten Löckemann
Curatorial assistant: Pietro Tondello

Accompanying program

Imi Knoebel

144 pages, 110 ill., softcover
2023, Hirmer Verlag GmbH, Munich
ISBN: 978-3-7774-4158-0
€ 33,00

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Current exhibitions

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The collaborative project between the Sammlung Goetz and the Neues Museum Nürnberg offers an exciting interplay between interior and exterior space. In the museum’s six façade rooms, the two institutions present wallpapers designed by artists represented in the Sammlung Goetz. Most of the works were created in the context of earlier large-scale installations and have now been adapted to the new space in Nuremberg.

Further exhibitions

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