Förg was born in the Allgäu region and studied at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich, his ideas have continuously migrated through numerous media. In 1984, Förg earned his spurs after being included in von hier haus, an exhibition on new German painting that Kasper König curated in Düsseldorf. Since then, he has been associated with two trajectories in postwar art. The history of his reception within the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam illustrates the duality of his protean artistic practice. In 1995, the Stedelijk, which at the time was led by Rudi Fuchs, presented Förg as the successor to the Germanic painters grouped together as the so-called ‘Neo-Expressionists’: Georg Baselitz, Per Kirkeby, Markus Lüpertz, and A.R. Penck. ‘A New Spirit in Painting’ (1981) showed that these artists actually endeavoured to root themselves in the culture of their origins and the pictorial tradition. More recently — as seen in the retrospective held three years ago by the Stedelijk and the Dallas Museum of Art — Förg was portrayed as an artist concerned with the interpretation and exploration of modernism from a European and continental perspective (which Blinky Palermo inaugurated in Germany). The current exhibition at Almine Rech shows, however, that Förg’s strength lies rather in his ability to create artworks that resist any kind of determinism, and are thereby not programmatic at all, which is to say that they are not embedded in the construction of a certain discourse on art. Förg expressed, basically, a fragile beauty, working at the threshold of ‘Neo-Expressionism’ and modernism.
- Théo de Luca, Author, Yale University