Hermann Goepfert Biography

Hermann Goepfert, born in 1926 in Bad Nauheim, works mainly in Frankfurt am Main. He is considered one of the most important representative artists of the ZERO movement. Having completed his studies at the Städelschule (1947 - 1958) he turns to non-objective painting. His monochrome white pictures, painted as from 1960, attracted great interest. International artists come to the city on the river Main in the 1960's, in order to exchange ideas with Goepfert or to work with him.

Read More

Amongst his artist friends are Lucio Fontana, Piero Manzoni and Jef Verheyen. From the beginning of the 1960's he takes part in important presentations linked to the ZERO group, such as in the exhibition NUL at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam or the documenta III in Kassel. Both in Kassel and at the subsequent international ZERO exhibitions he presents aluminium reflectors. Goepfert was mainly occupied with natural light as visual material and experimented with metals, which due to their smooth surface reflect light better than canvas. With the aim to increase the integration of space, he successively replaced canvas by metal. In 1965, Goepfert formed a planning partnership for new forms of environment (Planungsgemeinschaft für neue Formen der Umwelt) with architect Johannes Peter Hölzinger in order to put his creative ideas into architectural practice.

An early example of such an the integration of art and architecture within the ZERO movement are the objects and object architectures erected by the partnership in 1965-1967 in the Schlosspark in Karlsruhe for the National Horticultural Show (Bundesgartenschau). In 1967 the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels dedicates a solo exhibition to him where he showed static and kinetic works created after the white pictures. The focus of that exhibition is again on the artistic handling of light. In 1971 Goepfert moves to Antwerp Ever since his early death - Goepfert died suddenly in Antwerp in 1982 - his works have been shown in the ZERO context. In 1987 a retrospective entitled Goepfert and ZERO - ZERO and Goepfert took place at the Frankfurter Kunstverein. Some of his works were shown in 2014 at the big ZERO exhibition held by the Guggenheim Museum New York in cooperation with the ZERO Foundation, Dusseldorf and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. A comprehensive monography was published by Hatje Cantz in 2015.

Exhibition view: Hermann Goepfert and Christian Megert, Appearance of light. A post-war perspective. Goepfert, Megert, experimental photography, Dierking - Galerie am Paradeplatz, Zurich (1 June–31 August 2022). Courtesy Dierking - Galerie am Paradeplatz.

Hermann Goepfert Featured Artworks

View All (9)
Graubild / Grey Painting by Hermann Goepfert contemporary artwork painting
Hermann Goepfert Graubild / Grey Painting, 1957 Oil on canvas
101 x 80 x 2.5 cm
Sold
DIERKING - Galerie am Paradeplatz
Schwarzbild / Black Painting by Hermann Goepfert contemporary artwork painting
Hermann Goepfert Schwarzbild / Black Painting, 1957/58 Oil on canvas
138.5 x 92 x 3 cm
DIERKING - Galerie am Paradeplatz Contact Gallery
Knokke (Static Reflector) by Hermann Goepfert contemporary artwork mixed media
Hermann Goepfert Knokke (Static Reflector), 1967 Wooden box, hardboard, and PVC
134 x 200 x 9.7 cm
DIERKING - Galerie am Paradeplatz Contact Gallery
Untitled (Static Reflector) by Hermann Goepfert contemporary artwork mixed media
Hermann Goepfert Untitled (Static Reflector), 1979 Wooden box, silk, and stainless steel triangles
100 x 133 x 9.7 cm
DIERKING - Galerie am Paradeplatz Contact Gallery
Untitled (Kinetic Reflector) by Hermann Goepfert contemporary artwork mixed media
Hermann Goepfert Untitled (Kinetic Reflector), 1963 Woodboard, aluminium plate, aluminium stripes, and spiral springs
65 x 63 x 14 cm
DIERKING - Galerie am Paradeplatz Contact Gallery
Untitled (Kinetic Reflector) by Hermann Goepfert contemporary artwork mixed media
Hermann Goepfert Untitled (Kinetic Reflector), 1971 Wooden box, aluminium fins, spiral springs, and nylon threads
119 x 91.5 x 95 cm
DIERKING - Galerie am Paradeplatz Contact Gallery
Untitled (Static Reflector) by Hermann Goepfert contemporary artwork mixed media
Hermann Goepfert Untitled (Static Reflector), 1967 Wooden box, hardboard, and PVC
130 x 103.5 x 11 cm
DIERKING - Galerie am Paradeplatz Contact Gallery
Untitled (Stele) by Hermann Goepfert contemporary artwork sculpture
Hermann Goepfert Untitled (Stele), 1972 Hardboard and aluminium reeds
203 x 17 cm
DIERKING - Galerie am Paradeplatz Contact Gallery

Hermann Goepfert Current & Recent Exhibitions

Be among the first to know when new artworks and exhibitions by Hermann Goepfert are added to Ocula.
Sign Up