Artists / Gallery
Günther Uecker is one of the most important German and internationally active artists of the post-war period.
The theme of injury is the central motif in Uecker’s work. He uses original, often natural materials such as wood, sand, ash, stones and nails to underline these contents. Through his characteristic formal language, the artist symbolizes the “injury of man by man” and places suffering and vulnerability in the focus of his works.
Born in Wendorf (Mecklenburg) in 1930, he studied painting at the Fachschule für angewandte Kunst in Wismar and at the Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weißensee. Later he continued his studies at the Art Academy in Düsseldorf.
During his artistic career, abstract and figurative woodcuts were followed by manual image structures: finger paintings and dirt-paintings. In 1957, he created his typical nail art for the first time: three-dimensional, white painted reliefs made out of nails. The achievement is a special dynamic through the interaction of light and shadow and the alignment of the nails.
Uecker joined the artists' group ZERO, founded in 1958 by Heinz Mack, which represented the “zero hour” for a new artistic beginning after the Second World War in Germany and the whole of Europe. In 2014, the Guggenheim Museum in New York dedicated a major ZERO retrospective to celebrate the group’s outstanding achievement and art-historical significance for 20th-century art in a unique exhibition.
Uecker has been awarded numerous important art prizes and his art has been represented several times at the documenta in Kassel and at the Venice Biennale. Many of his works are in public and private collections, such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.
From 1974 to 1995, Uecker taught as a professor at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf, where he lives and works to this day.