IMI KNOEBEL - BILDER
15th July to 3rd December 2017Imi Knoebel‘s origins are to be found in Minimalism which has characterized his artistic work from its earliest beginnings right up to the present. Since the onset of the sixties when he joined the circle of young artists which had collected around Joseph Beuys and became an important contributor, there have however been very few who have followed up on the most fundamental questions regarding his work. And so the exhibition at the Skulpturenpark presents his Raum 19 (Room 19) a work which refers to the first years of Knoebel's career and yet at the same time embodies the continuity within his work. Raum 19 has thus been repeatedly described as a key work which exemplifies in showing within one single installation the relationships of expansive spatial bodies to extensive stratifications. It is the transitions and the interconnections of the works, also with each other, which play an important part in the reception of Knoebel’s work. This also applies to his coloured panels, a small selection of which Knoebel will be exhibiting in the Skulpturenpark.
In the more than fifty years of Imi Knoebel‘s career, materials and colours have done nothing else but speak for themselves. Free and unburdened are the relationships where elements in his installations allow themselves to be combined in continuously new variations and his works can be understood as conversations with the particular surroundings they find themselves in. In the context of his exhibitions, Knoebel‘s ‘deliberate involvement with space’ is very often mentioned and it is here that Knoebel’s works imply something far beyond themselves but rather become a component of a discussion on art about itself which Imi Knoebel enacts with each and every exhibition in new constellations. In the Skulpturenpark Waldfrieden the artist will again certainly continue to augment his dialogue with the observer.
Imi Knoebel was born in Dessau in1940. He spent his childhood in Grumbach close to Dresden and then his family moved to Mainz. As of 1962 he attended the Werkkunstschule (School of Arts and Crafts) in Darmstadt which was not far away. It was here that he got to know his friend Rainer Giese with whom he moved to the Art Academy in Düsseldorf in 1964. After a year in the class for applied art, he and Giese were accepted into Joseph Beuys’ class in 1965. Both artists have subsequently adopted the first name of Imi which is an abbreviation for their farewell salutation “Ich Mit Ihm” (I with him).
In addition to the Beuys classroom (Raum 20) Joseph Beuys also left them their own room (Raum 19) which they initially shared with Jörg Immendorff and Blinky Palermo. It was here that such works were created like a series of 44 line pictures but above all the early installation Raum 19 which can be seen in Skulpturenpark Waldfrieden in one of its later versions. From its early beginnings in Düsseldorf, Knoebel’s work has evolved so that in the course of time it has achieved international recognition and this has been accompanied by numerous awards the latest of which is Kythera Prize which he received in 2012.