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b. 1930, Germany

Günther Uecker Biography

Günther Uecker is a German artist and member of the ZERO movement best known for his signature use of nails arranged into tactile, sculptural paintings. Following an interest in Eastern philosophies, Uecker’s use of nails on canvas served as a meditative ritual, with the repetitive nature of hammering, transforming his theories into a lived artistic practice. First drawn to the Socialist Realism style of painting while studying in postwar Berlin, Uecker began creating reliefs in 1957. Born on March 13, 1930 in Wendorf, Germany, the artist met John Cage in 1959 who influenced the scope of his practice. In Uecker’s later work, the artist merely initiates a project and allows it to be taken where it needs to go—wherever that may be, even if it eventually is out of his hands. In 1961, after joining the ZERO group alongside Heinz Mack and Otto Piene, Uecker expanded his practice to include audience participation. The artist currently lives and works in Düsseldorf, Germany. Uecker’s works are held in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, among others.

Exhibition view: Group Exhibition, Writing Beyond, Axel Vervoordt Gallery, Antwerp (16 May–29 August 2020). Courtesy Axel Vervoordt Gallery.

Günther Uecker Featured Artworks

Weisser Vogel by Günther Uecker contemporary artwork
Günther UeckerWeisser Vogel, 2000Paint and nails on canvas on board
Lévy Gorvy Enquire about this work
Untitled by Günther Uecker contemporary artwork
Günther UeckerUntitled, 1981Nails and paint on canvas
72.5 x 64 cm
Cardi Gallery Enquire about this work
Doppelspirale 'Both' by Günther Uecker contemporary artwork
Günther UeckerDoppelspirale 'Both', 2019Nails and white paint on canvas on wood
200 x 160 cm
Lévy Gorvy Enquire about this work
Schauer by Günther Uecker contemporary artwork
Günther UeckerSchauer, 2019Nails and white paint on canvas on wood
200 x 160 cm
Lévy Gorvy Enquire about this work
Wolken by Günther Uecker contemporary artwork
Günther UeckerWolken, 1992Watercolour on handmade paper. From the series 'Wolken'.
13.5 x 19 cm
Lévy Gorvy Enquire about this work
Leviathan by Günther Uecker contemporary artwork
Günther UeckerLeviathan, 1991Watercolour on handmade paper
Lévy Gorvy Enquire about this work

Günther Uecker Current & Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Writing Beyond at Axel Vervoordt Gallery, Antwerp
Open Now
16 May–29 August 2020 Group Exhibition Writing Beyond Axel Vervoordt GalleryAntwerp
Contemporary art exhibition, Günther Uecker, Notations at Lévy Gorvy, New York
Closed
7 November 2019–25 January 2020 Günther Uecker Notations Lévy GorvyNew York
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Corpus at Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art, Düsseldorf
Closed
30 June–1 September 2018 Group Exhibition Corpus Beck & Eggeling International Fine ArtDüsseldorf

Günther Uecker Represented By

Axel Vervoordt Gallery contemporary art gallery in Hong Kong Axel Vervoordt Gallery Antwerp, Hong Kong
Cardi Gallery contemporary art gallery in Milan, Italy Cardi Gallery London, Milan
Lévy Gorvy contemporary art gallery in New York, USA Lévy Gorvy New York, London, Hong Kong, Zurich

Günther Uecker In Related Press

Examining the scars of history with Günther Uecker Related Press Examining the scars of history with Günther Uecker 14 February 2017, Apollo Magazine

On my way to Günther Uecker's (b. 1930) studio in Düsseldorf, I manage to lose my way, and when I ask for directions a helpful passerby points past a twisting trio of Frank Gehry buildings and says, 'Take a right at Uecker Platz.' Günther Uecker may have the honour of having a whole square christened after him, but he's not a grand figure. When I...

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