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Sale: 401 / Post War/Contemporary Art, Dec. 08. 2012 in Munich Lot 256

Lot description
Spirale. 1965.
Nails and paint on canvas on wood.
Twice signed and dated on verso. Dedicated and with arrow indicatting the direction. 60,2 x 60,2 x 6 cm (23,7 x 23,7 x 2,3 in).

We are grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Prof. Günther Uecker, Düsseldorf, for their kind support in cataloging this lot.

PROVENANCE: Private collection Southern Germany (acquired directly in artist's studio).

Günther Uecker was born in Wendorf, Mecklenburg on 13 March 1930. He began his artistic education in 1949 when he took up studies at Wismar. He then went to the art school in Berlin-Weißensee and in 1955 to Düsseldorf. Here Uecker studied under Otto Pankok at the Kunstakademie where he has also been teaching since 1974. He made his first nail pictures towards the end of the 1950s. Uecker met the group ZERO with Heinz Mack and Otto Piene in 1960, artists who propagated a new beginning of art in opposition to the German Informel. He occupied himself with the medium of light, studied optical phenomena, series of structures and the realms of oscillation which actively integrate the viewer and enable him to influence the visual process by kinetic or manual interference. Uecker, Mack and Piene began working together in joint studios at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam in 1962 and installed a 'Salon de Lumière' at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Other 'light salons' followed in Krefeld and in Frankfurt. Since 1966, after the group ZERO dissolved and a last joint exhibition, Uecker increasingly used nails as an artistic means of expression - a material which, until today, stands in the center of his oeuvre.

This work combines two stylistic elements that are characteristic of his oeuvre: the spiral and nails. The spiral of nails develops its effect through constant dynamic and neatly arranged motion. The artists describes this fascinating phenomenon as follows: "The way I employ nails as structural elements I don’t want them to be regarded as nails. By these well-organized means I want to achieve a vibration that disturbs its geometrical order and that vexes the observer." (Transl. Of quote after: Mack Piene Uecker, Kestner-Gesellschaft Hanover, catalog 7, exhibition year 1964/65, p. 166). This vibration and motion is achieved by the nails‘ varying inclination angle, providing an enormous tension and a differentiated play of light, that evokes ever new both contemplative as well as dynamic visual impressions.

Günther Uecker's oeuvre includes painting, object art, installations as well as stage designs and films. His origins explain his interest in the eastern European avant-garde of the 1920s and 1930s, but he is likewise interested in Asian cultures and their ideas. His works can be seen in various German museums and collections. Uecker's artistic creativity reached a peak in 2000 in the prayer room he designed for the Berlin Reichstag building. Günther Uecker, who has been honored numerous awards, e.g. the Orsder Pour le Mérite for Science and Art, teaches, lives and works in Düsseldorf. [KP].

Günther Uecker
Spirale, 1965.
€ 180,000 / $ 216,000
€ 390,400 / $ 468.480

(incl. 22% surcharge)

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