HomePage Artists

b. 1931, Germany

Heinz Mack Biography

Though best known for his monumental outdoor sculptures and contributions to 20th-century light and kinetic art, German artist Heinz Mack has experimented with a wide variety of mediums ranging from light-reliefs, paintings, drawings, and photographs, to sculpture made of materials such as stone, light-rotors, and light-stelae.

Read More

Mack's artistic career began with his studies in the mid-1950s at Düsseldorf's Kunstakademie. In 1956, he earned a degree in philosophy from the University of Cologne. After graduation and along with fellow German artist Otto Piene, Mack co-founded the significant post-war avantgarde group ZERO in Düsseldorf. The group rejected the popular expressive, abstract painting of the time, and instead used light and motion to explore new modes of perception. The group attracted artists Günther Uecker, Yves Klein, and Lucio Fontana, amongst others. In a 2014 interview with Ocula Magazine, Mack said of the artists involved with the ZERO movement, 'Each one of us worked alone, experimenting with colour and light, or, in my case, the concentration of space in its relation to the sculpture and vice versa. All this went along with recognitions, perceptions, ideas and some intellectual effort.'

Though the ZERO group disbanded in the mid-1960s, that short period was critical for the development of Mack's practice. Experimentations with unconventional materials, light and kinetics saw the birth of his kinetic 'Steles'. Light played a central role in sculptures such as Stele with 9 Lenses (1964), which used glass lenses. Artworks from the early 'Stele' group also included motors to generate movement and variations of light and shadow.

Alongside these sculptures, Mack's abstract paintings were informed by his interest in light and darkness. The monochromatic and graphic play with black-and-white resin lines on cloth in Vibration (1957–58) exemplifies his penchant for Minimalism. Later, Mack turned to painting with pure, bright colours in a style that he called 'Chromatic Constellations'. Exemplary of this, the acrylic-on-canvas painting Empire Couleur (Chromatic Constellation) (2014) comprises stripes in a spectrum of colours and fragments that blend softly into one another at their edges. In such works, Mack creates different intervals, patterns, and sequences of colour that seem to float on constantly changing surfaces.

Mack has exhibited internationally since 1959 and his works are held in over 120 international public collections. In his early career, he participated in the historic II. documenta (1959) and documenta III (1964), as well as representing the Federal Republic of Germany at the Venice Biennale of 1970. Throughout his career, his multi-faceted artwork has been presented in almost 300 solo exhibitions, while a number of books as well as two films have been made about his practice.

John Hurrell | Ocula | 2019

Heinz Mack Featured Artworks

View All (21)
Sommergarten (Chromatische Konstellation) by Heinz Mack contemporary artwork
Heinz MackSommergarten (Chromatische Konstellation), 2005Acrylic on canvas
129 x 160 cm
Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art Contact Gallery
untitled by Heinz Mack contemporary artwork
Heinz Mackuntitled, 1960Synthetic resin on canvas, wooden frame
60 x 64 cm
Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art Contact Gallery
untitled (Dynamische Struktur) by Heinz Mack contemporary artwork
Heinz Mackuntitled (Dynamische Struktur), 1961Oil and resin on canvas
37.5 x 58 cm
Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art Contact Gallery
Lichtrelief by Heinz Mack contemporary artwork
Heinz MackLichtrelief, 1958Aluminium relief on panel
36.5 x 44 x 4 cm
Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art Contact Gallery
Licht-Flügel by Heinz Mack contemporary artwork
Heinz MackLicht-Flügel, 1965Aluminium, glass, wood, stainless steel
63 x 102 x 9.5 cm
Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art Contact Gallery
for Picabia by Heinz Mack contemporary artwork
Heinz Mackfor Picabia, 1958Synthetic resin on nettle
100 x 120 cm
Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art Contact Gallery
Lichtstele by Heinz Mack contemporary artwork
Heinz MackLichtstele, 1965Aluminium, Plexiglas and plastic on pedestal
246 x 41 x 61 cm
Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art Contact Gallery
Schachraster mit Netz by Heinz Mack contemporary artwork
Heinz MackSchachraster mit Netz, 1972Aluminium on wood under glass
51 x 51 x 3 cm
Axel Vervoordt Gallery Contact Gallery

Heinz Mack Recent Exhibitions

View All (6)
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Summer Breeze at Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art, Düsseldorf
Closed
30 July–19 September 2020 Group Exhibition Summer Breeze Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art, DüsseldorfDüsseldorf
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, TEFAF Selection at Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art, Düsseldorf
Closed
19 March–31 July 2020 Group Exhibition TEFAF Selection Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art, DüsseldorfDüsseldorf
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, 25 Years of Passion at Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art, Düsseldorf
Closed
2 April–11 May 2019 Group Exhibition 25 Years of Passion Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art, DüsseldorfDüsseldorf

Heinz Mack Represented By

Heinz Mack In Ocula Magazine

On The Autobahn: A Report From North Rhine-Westphalia Ocula Report On The Autobahn: A Report From North Rhine-Westphalia By Stephanie Bailey, North Rhine-Westphalia

Project 25/25/25 is a quintessentially “NRW” affair. Celebrating 25 Years of the Arts Foundation North Rhine-Westphalia (Kunstiftung NRW), this expansive exhibition—which started in 2014 and will continue into 2015—pairs 25 artists with a constellation of 25 municipal museums spread out over a vast territory that makes up...

Fade out copy.
Read More
Heinz Mack Ocula Conversation Heinz Mack By Stephanie Bailey

I don’t accept this mentality that art is only available to a very small section of society that can afford it as a kind of luxury entertainment.

Fade out copy.
Read More

Heinz Mack In Related Press

View All (8)
Hobart's Museum of Old and New Art steps back in time with its playful new exhibition Zero Related Press Hobart's Museum of Old and New Art steps back in time with its playful new exhibition Zero 27 June 2018, ABC News

One of the most striking works in MONA's new exhibition, Zero, consists of a black wall covered in a meticulous grid of identical clear plastic bags filled with water. Curator Mattijs Visser cheerfully points out that it could be made at home. This observation is interrupted by the sound of smashing glass from the gallery next door. In it...

Fade out copy.
Read More
Zero reimagined: a new take on an old artistic vision Related Press Zero reimagined: a new take on an old artistic vision 16 June 2018, The Guardian

When Otto Piene was a teenager in Germany during the second world war, German citizens were ordered to black out windows so allied aircraft couldn't see them. It was impossible to black them out entirely, though, and during the day the sun would shine through tiny cracks and chinks in the window coverings. Years later, when the violence and...

Fade out copy.
Read More
You'd Have To Be Bonkers: Australians In HK Related Press You'd Have To Be Bonkers: Australians In HK 31 March 2017, The Art Life

Is it only a week since Hong Kong? After a blur of skyscraper light shows, bamboo scaffolding, detour signs, cranes and ferries, it’s hard to believe it all happened. For an international art fair rookie (like me) Art Basel Hong Kong (ABHK) was hard to get your head around. Held across two large floors of the sophisticated but sterile Hong Kong...

Fade out copy.
Read More
'Only ideas can change the world': an interview with the Zero group's Heinz Mack Related Press 'Only ideas can change the world': an interview with the Zero group's Heinz Mack 13 February 2017, The Art Newspaper

In the breaks between the slalom and the downhill, those traveling to St Moritz for this year’s FIS Alpine World Ski Championships (until 19 February) can also make time for some quiet reflection, courtesy of the German artist Heinz Mack. On a footpath by the city’s lake, framed by evergreen trees, the nearby mountains and with a clear view to the...

Fade out copy.
Read More

Be among the first to know when new artworks and exhibitions by Heinz Mack are added to Ocula.

WeChat

Scan the QR Code via WeChat to follow Ocula's official account.

Scan to follow Ocula on WeChat.
;