Sunday, February 1, 2009

'Boundaries' by Stephanie Bell Behnke

Imi Knoebel @ Mary Boone Gallery

Imi Knoebel @ Mary Boone Gallery


Imi Knoebel’s work is a bright spot in a dark world. Like the ad says,…’Add color to your life and your d├ęcor’. Not a bad thing to be in this, our hopefully long overdue, brave new world,…Maybe these are the first flutterings, the signs of a spring here,…Well Imi Knoebel is not a wound too tight kind of guy, or trussed up like Glenn Brown, or wound down to sludge but more like a lotus sprung bright out of fertile mud,…And he’s definitely from some mixed fertile beginnings, soil from the likes of Blinky Palermo, Sigmar Polke and Joseph Beuys. Imi Knoebel’s work goes casual, loosens it up, springs from the board of classic, lean modernism but more sprightly, louder and way less demanding,…uncomplicated. Like when you see orange and black, it doesn’t mean Halloween,…It’s just black as black and then orange as orange and yellow as yellow, green as green, etc.,…Stop looking for a problem to solve, a way in,…Take these paintings at face value,…Rootless no, cut loose from meaning, yes! Freshen up, press your re-fresh button now.

Like opening up your first box of fresh crayolas,…not iconic as Ellsworth Kelly or even wanting, needing to be now,…Knoebel makes that ethos seem frozen, while his organic, lung-ta’s fly round the gallery,…His forthright simple geometries of real color,…a pleasure. Front and center, suspended,…not so rigorous and chock full of the life that is not codified, structured or honed to a master plan,…presages new beginnings, keep it opened up,…anemones floating,…Simple, adroit,…It’s about the color!

Stephanie Bell Behnke