Knoebel studied from 1962 – 64 at the Werkkunstschule (School for Applied Arts) in Darmstadt and moved in 1964, fascinated by the teaching style and personality of Joseph Beuys, to the Kunstakademie (Art Academy) in Düsseldorf. Knoebel, however, distanced himself from the other Beuys students and developed his own, minimalist style, influenced by its great forerunner Kazimir Malevich. Following puristic line drawings, light projections and white paintings (1972 – 75) Knoebel turned to colour for the first time in 1974. During the 1980s the artist experimented with found objects, incorporating them within his installation pieces. Continuing his investigation into the medium of painting, Knoebel has also expanded his practice to an architectural scale; his largest commission to date saw the artist design several stained glass windows for the Notre-Dame de Reims cathedral, installed in 2011 and 2015.