Theory — 9 September 2018
On the occasion of the exhibition Günther Förg: A Fragile Beauty, The Stedelijk Museum organizes a Sunday Seminar about the work of the artist Günther Förg and modernism.
This Sunday Seminar focuses on Günther Förg’s reflections on modernism. ‘We can go beyond the rhetoric of much of modernist manifestos’, Förg stated in an interview with David Ryan in 1997. The artist was rebelling against the prevailing view that regards classical abstract painting to be the core of modernism, which is still dominant in today’s notion of (modern) art and its history. He particularly rejected the concepts of beauty, truth and purity that are inherent to this notion. In many works, such as his photographs, the lead paintings and the plaster still-lives, Förg aimed to subvert the position of modernism. Even his seemingly neutral images contain a subversive message that questions the history and aesthetics of modernism.
During this seminar we continue this discussion. The main focus is the contemporary significance of modernism within various disciplines, such as photography, sculpture and painting. What is the relevance of Förg’s legacy to this discussion?