Imi Knoebel - vivitis, 1987, acrylic on plywood and fiberboard in three parts

vivitis

Accession Date:
05/29/87
Accession Number:
F-KNOE-1P87.31a-c
1987
acrylic on plywood and fiberboard in three parts
110 x 59 x 12 1/2 in. (279.4 x 149.86 x 31.75 cm)

About This Artwork

There is an intentional purity in the art of Imi Knoebel. Using basic, hardware-store materials, he strips his work of references and ideologies, allowing for unencumbered encounters with the shape, color, and volume of forms. Early in Knoebel’s career, he was inspired by Joseph Beuys, studying under the renowned artist in the mid-1960s in Düsseldorf, Germany. However, Knoebel chose not to follow Beuys’s pursuit of deeply layered symbols and performative actions. Instead, he was influenced by the work of Russian suprematist Kazimir Malevich, which gave him “the overwhelming feeling that (he) could start at nothing.” The Latinists series includes five sculptures akin to the disembodied forms found in Malevich, titled after various conjugations of the verb, “to live” in Latin. Here, the arrangements project an openness, as if the plywood and stretcher bars could be positioned any number of ways.