Imi Knoebel at Neue Nationalgalerie and Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin

With the opening of two exhibitions dedicated to Imi Knoebel, art lovers and fans of the Düsseldorf artist and Joseph Beuys student Imi Knoebel have a good reason to travel to Berlin: Imi Knoebel: Zu Hilfe, zu Hilfe… at Neue Nationalgalerie, and Imi Knoebel: Ich Nicht (Not Me) New Works at Deutsche Guggenheim show two facets of Imi Knoebel’s work.

In the Neue Nationalgalerie Imi Knoebel enters in a dialog with the spectacular Upper Hall of Mies van der Rohe’s New National Gallery. On display are his famous “Raum 19″ (Room 19, 1968/2006), “Batterie” (Battery, 2005), and “Zu Hilfe, zu Hilfe, sonst bin ich verloren” (documenta 8, Kassel, 2987). With Potsdamer Strasse 50 (2009), Imi Knoebel uses the windows of the Mies van der Rohe’s pavilion as canvas and thus creates a translucent enclosure for the works. With Imi Knoebel the Neue Nationalgalerie starts a series of exhibitions that invites artists to create work that refers specifically to the Upper Pavilion.

In close collaboration with Imi Knoebel and in cooperation with the Neue Nationalgalerie, the the Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin presents Ich Nicht (Not Me). It’s the first part of an exhibition that is divided into two “acts”. It will be followed by the exhibition Enduros in July. Ich Nicht presents new works by Imi Knoebel executed between 2005 and 2009. Ich Nicht (Not Me) gives an answer to Barnett Newman’s question “Who’s afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue?”. Enduros, the second part of the show, constitutes a retrospective of Knoebel’s work from 1968 to 2005, covering the entire spectrum of the artist’s abstract formal vocabulary. Around 200 collages, drawings, photographs, and prints from the Deutsche Bank Collection provide a comprehensive overview of Imi Knoebel’s ouvre. At the same time they pay tribute to the medium of paper, the focus of the corporate collection.

On the occasion of the press preview and the opening of the exhibitions we spoke with Prof. Dr. Eugen Blume, the curator of the exhibition at the Neue Nationalgalerie and Head of Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwart, and Friedhelm Hütte, the curator of the exhibition at Deutsche Guggenheim and Global Head Deutsche Bank Art.

Imi Knoebel. Zu Hilfe, zu Hilfe… at Neue Nationalgalerie and Imi Knoebel: Ich Nicht at Deutsche Guggenheim. Press preview and opening receptions. Berlin, Germany, May 22, 2009.

PS: Related articles at Deutsche Bank Artmag: Friedhelm Hütte on Imi Knoebel’s importance for nonobjective art; Jörg Heiser on Imi Knoebel’s use of the series form and his celebration of color; “The Security of the Pure Square” – Karola Krauss on Imi Knoebel.

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