Imi Knoebel | the artist




The artist Imi Knoebel
Born 1940, Dessau, Germany.

Style and technique of the artist: Painting, Installation art,


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imi knoebel
Imi Knoebel was born in Dessau, Germany, in 1940. He was a student of Joseph Beuys at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf from 1964 to 1971. His first exhibition, “IMI + IMI,” with Imi Giese, a fellow student of Beuys, was held in Copenhagen, in 1968. Knoebel has since exhibited his works in Documentas 5 (1972), 6 (1977), 7 (1982), and 8 (1987), and at Sonsbeek ‘71. In 1987 Knoebel oversaw an installation of his own work, as well as that of Beuys and Blinky Palermo, for the inaugural exhibitions at Dia’s galleries on West 22nd Street in New York City. A retrospective of his work traveled, in 1996—97, throughout Europe, including such venues as Haus der Kunst, Munich; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and Institut Valencià d’Art Modern, Centre Julio González, Valencia. He will have a major retrospective in summer 2009 at the Hamburger Bahnhof and the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin. His monumental cycle, 24 Colors—for Blinky (1977) is currently on view at Dia:Beacon. He lives and works in Düsseldorf…

imi knoebel
Imi Knoebel was preeminent among the students of Joseph Beuys at the influential Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. There he began to question the conventions and objectives of creating art. Knoebel’s work has since conjoined painting, sculpture, and architecture, culminating in the purist investigation of space, picture support and color of his recent works…

imi knoebel
Raum 19 (Room 19), 1968 is a key work in Imi Knoebel’s oeuvre, prescient of his mature aesthetic and practice. Created while he was still a Meister-student under Joseph Beuys, it took its title from the place of its execution, the number of his studio in the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf.1 All seventy-seven parts— stretchers, planar elements, stereometric and rectangular volumes—are fabricated from wood and fiberboard, which has been used “raw,” in an untreated state; the pristine condition of these simple geometric components gives the impression that they await future deployment. A commonplace building material then rarely used for the making of artworks, Masonite soon became one of Knoebel’s preferred materials on account of its quotidian serviceability and ready availability. This humble ordinariness, together with the straightforward carpentry techniques it presupposes, signals his belief that the artist’s practice is as banal and pragmatic as that of a farm laborer, an urban worker, or an architect. Notwithstanding his abiding reverence for Kasimir Malevich and Beuys, he claims that an artist’s role today has little to do with that of a visionary creator inspired by mystical beliefs…

imi knoebel
The German artist Imi Knoebel (born 1940) ranks as one of the most internationally renowned abstract artists. Ever since his earliest works in the nineteen-sixties and in his subsequent pictures and installations, Knoebel treads a fine line between the realms of painting and sculpture. Upon request by the curator, Eugen Blume, Imi Knoebel has now developed an exhibition for the upper hall of the New National Gallery which, by way of a few exceptional works, affords us a retrospective view of his diverse body of work…

imi knoebel
Works in the MOMA collection



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