Imi Knoebel

Schauinsland, 1984

About the object

Throughout his career, Imi Knoebel formulated a variety of visual methods aimed at extending and formulating a personal definition of the pictorial concept per se. His conceptual approach is based on turning an artwork in its object-like nature into a palpable experience, thereby expanding it spatially. The title of this work - »Schauinsland« - refers to the mountain local to Freiburg. The work can thus be interpreted as an ironic deconstruction of the genre of landscape painting as an art-historical category.
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Over the years, Imi Knoebel has developed a wide range of artistic techniques within heterogeneous groups of works that follow an expanded and redefined idea of pictorial composition. His conceptual approach is based on making the image carrier per se palpable in its very objecthood and thus to expand it to incorporate the dimension of the space. As a result of this approach, the artist transcends the restrictions of genre with a masterful sense of irony. During a brief period in the early 1980s, he turned his attention to the gestural use of colours on layered hardboard. This characteristic material, with which one identifies Knoebel and his installations, is mounted here onto panel and then fastened with screws to the wall. The object-based image carrier, which came about for an exhibition in Kirchzarten and suggests a landscape, has been treated expressively with paint, car varnish and an electric drill by an artist at home in his stylistic medium. (Translation: Timothy Connell)

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