Imi Knoebel is known for his theoretical approach to colour, form and surface. His modest yet powerful use of colour combinations work to reveal the physical potentialities behind his often basic materials; by reducing art to its most formal elements, Knoebel highlights the possibilities inherent within these materials and structures. Through a career spanning four decades, he has revisited these themes and materials in various ways.
Knoebel studied at the Werkkunstschule in Darmstadt (1962-64) before moving to the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, fascinated by the teaching style and personality of Joseph Beuys. Knoebel, however, distanced himself from the other Beuys students and developed his own, minimalist style, influenced by Kazimir Malevich. His puristic line drawings, light projections and white paintings of the early 70s saw the inclusion of colour for the first time in 1974. During the 1980s the artist experimented with found objects, incorporating them within his installation pieces. Continuing his investigation into the medium of painting, Knoebel began using aluminium panels as a support for his acrylic works in the 1990’s. Since then, he has expanded his practice to an architectural scale; his largest commission to date saw the artist design several stained glass windows for the Notre-Dame de Reims cathedral, installed in 2011 and 2015.
The exhibition coincides with von Bartha’s participation in Art Basel 2017, where they will show a booth of Knoebel’s work alongside Andrew Bick, Adolf Luther, Landon Metz, Felipe Mujica, Sarah Oppenheimer, SUPERFLEX, Jean Tinguely and Sophie Taeuber-Arp.