Heinz Mack Structures
Monday, March 20, 2017
6 – 8 pm
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, which will run concurrently with Art Basel Hong Kong 2017, includes paintings, works on paper and reliefs from the artist’s renowned ZERO period to the present, examining his lifelong interest in light, colour, form, vibration and sensory perception.
Mack made his initial impact on post-war discourse with the ZERO movement, founded with Otto Piene in 1957 in Düsseldorf, Germany, and later joined by Günther Uecker in 1961. ZERO was a blank slate 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, transport art into new spaces and dissolve boundaries between nature, art and technology, all with an optimistic enthusiasm and an 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, their myriad practices anticipating the minimalist, conceptualist and land-art movements. The movement profoundly impacted future generations of artists, ranging from Gerhard Richter to Robert Smithson and James Turrell, and was recently recognised at the Guggenheim Museum in New York with the seminal show ZERO: Countdown to
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 a panel.
Mack’s manifestos from the ZERO movement would serve as the foundation for his artistic output in the subsequent decades, including 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, which he continues to this day, exploring colour, tonal scale, light, rhythm and abstract patterning. A central work in the exhibition, Feuer-Teppich (Chromatische Konstellation) [Fire-Carpet (Chromatic Constellation)] (1993) radiates an intense energy, with its jagged band of crimson seeming to vibrate 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.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Heinz Mack was born in 1931 in Lollar, Germany, attended the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf during the 1950s, and subsequently earned a degree in philosophy at the University of Cologne. He currently lives and works in Mönchengladbach, Germany and Ibiza, Spain. Mack’s work is included in prestigious public and private collections around the world, including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, US; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York; Staatliche Museen zu Berlin; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the Tate, London; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, US. Mack has staged numerous solo exhibitions at Ben Brown Fine Arts London and Hong Kong.
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