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Untitled (No. 100/87)
Original title: Sin título (n.º 100/87)
Acrylic on lead
Dimensions: 5 units: 60.3 x 40.5 cm each
All Förg's painted work is set in the sphere of abstract painting, and his attitude has often been compared to that of Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, Robert Ryman and Blinky Palermo, albeit eluding the mystical and heroic aspects that characterise the work of the first three. A decisive feature in the conception of his work is the speed of execution. Hence his evolution in series with minimal variants and the lightness of the brushstroke. The final result of his pictorial work was described by Rudi Fuchs, critic, historian and director of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam from 1993 to 2003, as follows: "The spectacle Förg offers has every reason to amaze us: it is the dance of a butterfly with fragile, rainbow wings flying over the worthy tradition of abstract art, which adds a component of grace to the beauty of that tradition." After five years away from painting, in 1986 Förg returned using different media: lead—as in the works from 1987 and 1990 in the ”la Caixa” Collection of Contemporary Art—aluminium, wood, canvas and copper, as he had done at the beginning of his career. But now he exploited the reactions of the materials themselves to a greater extent: density, shine, oxidation, roughness, etc. These pieces are composed of two parts painted in oil uniformly and in a single colour with almost invisible brushstrokes at times, as in Untitled (No. 100/87); at other times, he leaves the lead exposed to the air. For Bruno Corà, curator of his retrospective at Castello di Rivoli, "they are balanced like a piece of horizontal landscape where sky and sea touch." The speed, which we have already mentioned as one of the unmistakable characteristics of Förg's work, is particularly important in his sculpture. The marks of the fingers on his journey around the bed of plaster, or a rapid furrow, rather than a line, cloven by the brush in the paste where the bronze is to be melted, are the minimal incidents and accidents that make up the surface of the sculpture. They are like a return journey from the graphic print to volume, and back to the metal plate or the lithographic stone (and if we remember that it is increasingly rare to work litho on stone and more common to do so on metal, we see that there is even a point of material union between one activity and the other). Further proof of Förg's indifference to the different media of expression is the fact that his bronze reliefs, his sculptures, are not always freestanding, but hang, as if they were pictures, from the wall.
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