June 8 - July 14, 2000
On June 8, an exhibition of new work by Günther Förg, photographs of the Bata Works in Zlijn, Czech Republic will open at the Christine Burgin Gallery in Chelsea.
Although probably best known for his paintings, Günther Förg's photographs have been an integral part of his work since the early 80s. The first works to include photographic images were his Alubilder or "aluminum pictures" in which Förg combined painted motifs with portrait photographs on a single aluminum ground, a balanced equilibrium between abstraction and figuration. In 1982, Förg began his series of large format architectural photographs which include studies of the Haus Lange in Krefeld, the Villa Malaparte on Capri, the Barcelona Pavillion and, probably his most widely exhibited photographic images, the Villa Wittgenstein in Vienna. Developed simultaneously and often exhibited alongside the paintings, Förg's depiction of these cultural monuments raises the architecture to an almost abstract level.
Förg's newest photographic works are a continuation and in many ways the culmination of his interest in the aesthetic of architectural monuments of the early 20th century. The town of Zlijn is the architectural creation of Thomas Bata, founder of the Bata Shoe Works. In an effort to accommodate an ever expanding workforce Bata hired Le Corbusier, with whom he shared the urban ideal of a fully modern, functionalist environment for workers, to design Zlijn's city plan. The most prominent Czech architects including Jan Kotera and Frantisek Lydia Gahura were hired to design the factories and worker colonies. Many of these buildings exist today, reminders of Zlijn's importance as one of the very first examples of the modern garden city made famous by Le Corbusier.
A total of nineteen color photographs will be included in the exhibition. All works are published by Julie Sylvester.