Sale: 545 / Evening Sale, Dec. 08. 2023 in Munich Lot 33

Günther Uecker
Wind, 2005.
Nails and white paint, on canvas, on panel
€ 700,000 - 900,000

$ 742,000 - 954,000

Wind. 2005.
Nails and white paint, on canvas, on panel.
Signed, dated, titled and with a direction arrow on the reverse. 200 x 160 x 16 cm (78.7 x 62.9 x 6.2 in).

• Rare large-size 'force field' of museum quality.
• Highly dynamic nailing over gestural painting with a final accentuation of the nail heads.
• Despite its impressive format, the work emanates great aririness.
• Uecker succeeded in capturing the dynamics of wind in his inimitable imagery.
• For the first time offered on the international auction market (source:

This work is registered in the Uecker Archive with the number GU.05.011 and has been earmarked for inclusion into the forthcoming Uecker catalogue raisonné.

PROVENANCE: Private collection Southern Germany (acquired from the artist).

Called up: December 8, 2023 - ca. 18.04 h +/- 20 min.

"Where language fails, the picture begins." This statement by Uecker stands for his decades of artistic creation. Recurring motifs in his nail works, works in materials such as stone, sand, earth and ashes, testify to the tremendous power of his minimalist vocabulary as a universally understood language. Günther Uecker inspires. The art of Günther Uecker is too diverse to fit into a single category like this characteristic large nail field that is charged with a strong energy. We feel the motion of a field that sways back and forth, charged with a hardness and at the same time suffused with softness. We see the light as a part of the given matter with which the artist works. The act of creation, its own form of aggressiveness transferred from the artist's body to the nailed ground, always remains palpable. From this angle, the nail paintings are aggregates of feeling, a connection between technique and spirit, a connection between nail and painting. The technical possibilities, according to the artist, have fascinated him from the beginning not as much as the aspect that they serve as a vehicle for thought and action.

Art as Authentic Attitude and Necessary Action
The energy field "Wind", created in 2005, impresses with liveliness and presence: power, energy and strength, as well as a contemplative beauty accompanied by the fascinating movement and dynamics of a gentle wave. The danger that the rigid material may have a static appeal is dissolved by the moving play of light and shadow. The dense tangle of carpenter's nails rhythmically hammered into the wood, creates a painting full of visual violence that exerts a fascination one cannot escape: Nail by nail, placed in alternating direction in an undulating order and washed with the same white paint as the image carrier, thus forming a new surface. Uecker uses the nails to explore a three-dimensional space beyond the picture’s boundaries with flowing organic structures. Since the shadows that the nails cast change with light incidence and angle, the work gains ever new dynamic appearances, making it a transformative light object. This way Uecker creates simultaneous excitement and contemplation.

Uecker finds a uniquely individual expression despite the massiveness of the materials. In terms of the materials used for his artistic process, he has remained faithful to simple means and tools. And he has also remained true to the human body as gauger for what is possible. His first and foremost frame of reference is his own body, his own capability, which is fundamental for his forceful creation. In terms of its genesis and effectiveness, the complexity and richness of Uecker's œuvre is particularly breathtaking: this powerful poetic creation that balances opposites, unites action and contemplation, stillness and movement in a fascinating artistic whole of a powerful beauty. And yet, a permanent process of deconstruction of harmony is intensely perceptible in his works, evoking messages of emotional sentiment, borne of personal attitude.
'Paintings' like this, "Wind" but also drawings, sculptures, installations, stage sets, costumes, books, photographs and films by Günther Uecker testify to a concept in which art is a spiritual development by an inquisitive artist who continuously seeks an open field and a new scope for action. It is the dynamic, the mobility, as well as the constantly renewing cultic and cultural influences that give rise to a highly emotional pictorial power that is so sensitive to the human being. The nail paintings that Uecker made over decades are like snapshots of an artistic and physical state of mind. Depending on the point of view and the incidence of light, these 'paintings' develop a sensitive, poetic power and begin to breathe. [MvL]

Buyer's premium, taxation and resale right compensation for Günther Uecker "Wind"
This lot can be purchased subject to differential or regular taxation, artist‘s resale right compensation is due.

Differential taxation:
Hammer price up to 800,000 €: herefrom 32 % premium.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 800,000 € is subject to a premium of 27 % and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 800,000 €.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 4,000,000 € is subject to a premium of 22 % and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 4,000,000 €.
The buyer's premium contains VAT, however, it is not shown.

Regular taxation:
Hammer price up to 800,000 €: herefrom 27 % premium.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 800,000 € is subject to a premium of 21% and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 800,000 €.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 4,000,000 € is subject to a premium of 15% and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 4,000,000 €.
The statutory VAT of currently 19 % is levied to the sum of hammer price and premium. As an exception, the reduced VAT of 7 % is added for printed books.

We kindly ask you to notify us before invoicing if you wish to be subject to regular taxation.

Calculation of artist‘s resale right compensation:
For works by living artists, or by artists who died less than 70 years ago, a artist‘s resale right compensation is levied in accordance with Section 26 UrhG:
4 % of hammer price from 400.00 euros up to 50,000 euros,
another 3 % of the hammer price from 50,000.01 to 200,000 euros,
another 1 % for the part of the sales proceeds from 200,000.01 to 350,000 euros,
another 0.5 % for the part of the sale proceeds from 350,000.01 to 500,000 euros and
another 0.25 % of the hammer price over 500,000 euros.
The maximum total of the resale right fee is EUR 12,500.

The artist‘s resale right compensation is VAT-exempt.