“[The nail is] the ideal object with which to model light and shadow – to make time visible[…] It protrudes as a tactile feeler from the flat surface, much like a sundial” – Günther Uecker
Günther Uecker is a German sculptor, op artist and installation artist. He is best known for his signature use of nails as an artistic means of expression. His practice of hammering nails is a meditative ritual which draws inspiration from his interest in Eastern philosophies. In his early work, Uecker hammered nails into pieces of furniture, musical instruments and household objects. This resulted in his sculptural, tactile works which surpass the limit of a two-dimensional artworks. Günther Uecker is also fascinated with the medium of light, which, when deployed alongside his nail works create new experiences of light and darkness. He is a founder of ZERO artistic group, whose members include Heinz Mack and Otto Piene. The group was founded as a new beginning of art in opposition to German Informel. Günther Uecker has often stressed the importance of following one’s own voice having said: “don’t rush to the guillotine, assert yourself first.” His art has fostered discovery and expression by promoting a new artistic environment unconstrained by traditions of the past. Uecker was born 1930 in Wendorf, Germany, and currently lives in Dusseldorf.