HEINZ MACK: Structures
21 Mar - 5 May 2017
Ben Brown Fine Arts is honoured to present HEINZ MACK: Structures, the revolutionary artist’s second solo show at the Hong Kong gallery. The exhibition will include paintings, works on paper and reliefs ranging from the artist’s renowned ZERO period to the present, examining his lifelong interest in light, colour, form, vibration and sensory perception. The exhibition will run concurrently with Art Basel Hong Kong 2017.
Mack made his initial impact on post-war discourse with the ZERO movement, founded with Otto Piene in 1957 in Dusseldorf, Germany, and later joined by Günther Uecker in 1961. ZERO was considered a blank slate or starting point for these young German artists recovering from the ravages of World War II. They strove to challenge and transgress the traditional dictums of art making, to transport art into new spaces, to create an experience for the viewer, and to dissolve boundaries between nature, art and technology, all with an optimistic enthusiasm and unrestricted aesthetic. The ZERO movement gained momentum internationally and grew to include artists such as Lucio Fontana, Yves Klein, Yayoi Kusama, Piero Manzoni and Jesús Rafael Soto, the myriad practices of its participants anticipating the future movements of Minimalism, Conceptualism and Land art. The ZERO movement profoundly impacted future generations of artists, ranging from Gerhard Richter to Robert Smithson and James Turrell, and was recently recognized at the Guggenheim Museum in New York with the seminal show ZERO: Countdown to Tomorrow, 1950s-60s.
This exhibition includes rare examples of ZERO period works including Licht-Relief [Light-Relief] (1958), an undulating aluminium relief; Mauerrelief [Wall-Relief] (1962) an exquisite group of textured reliefs of silver leaf on wood; and Raster-Oval [Grid-Oval] (1966), a graphic geometric black and white painting on panel.
Mack’s manifestos from the ZERO movement would serve as the foundation for his artistic output in the subsequent decades which included monumental sculpture, land art, light art, kinetic creations and conceptual projects around the world. Having abandoned painting for over two decades, Mack resurrected his practice in 1991 and began his Chromatische Konstellation (Chromatic Constellation) series of large-scale paintings and works on paper that explore colour, tonal scale, light, rhythm and abstract patterning, which he continues to this day. A central work in the exhibition, Feuer-Teppich (Chromatische Konstellation) [Fire-Carpet (Chromatic Constellation)] (1993) radiates an intensive energy with its jagged band of crimson seemingly vibrating against a black background. Der Tanz (Chromatische Konstellation) [The Dance (Chromatic Constellation)] (2013) consists of intricately layered bands of resplendent colour that create an optical illusion of depth and movement on a two-dimensional surface.