Magazine article Artforum International

Gunther Forg

Magazine article Artforum International

Gunther Forg

Article excerpt

Fascination can result from an attraction to what is really only a mirage: what fascinates cannot be grasped, and the closer one gets to it the more elusive it becomes. Many critics report a similar experience in dealing with the work of Gunther Forg: if they follow their attraction to the work, the pictures they are confronted with are incomprehensible. An essay from the catalogue for a Forg retrospective three years ago is entitled, "You might think there was nothing to see."

Through its supposed emptiness, however, Forg's work demands a search for content and the concrete. The critic cited above, for example, uses his confrontation with the material emptiness of the paintings as a way to find meaning. Thus Forg's work engenders a broad range of reactions. It is not astonishing that critics advise viewers not to resist its magic, for those who do can expect to encounter only its seemingly arbitrary, empty aspects. Actually, critics might have a greater tendency to fall into the abyss of emptiness than the uninitiated public, but then this emptiness is an important aspect of Forg's work. His paintings exude emptiness--even the new ones of screens or lattices and agglomerations of circles against bright color fields. …

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