Born in 1930 in Wendorn, Germany, Gunther Uecker founded the group ZERO in 1961, which distanced itself from the artistic tendencies of the time and called for a return to the ‘zero grade’ of art. Fascinated by the purification rituals of oriental philosophy, Uecker aimed to achieve a formal simplicity and spiritual purity, following the precepts of Buddhism, Taoism and Islam. He therefore invented personal rituals consisting of infinite repetitions of simple actions. The canvases and sculptures of the 1950s, covered with an apparently infinite number of nails, are dynamic works on which spontaneous patterns are created through light and shadow. Based on these experiements, Uecker began to create kinetic art, representing would become European Kinetic Art in Germany.
After the ZERO group disbanded, Uecker met John Cage, and from then on, progressed to conceptual and body art, convinced that the viewer was a necessary driving force and an integral part of the work of art.
Works by Gunther Uecker works are included in the collections of the Buffalo Art Institute in Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Tate Modern in Londonthe, the Hamburger Bahnhof and the Sammlung Hoffmann in Berlin. He has shown a series of works at Punta della Dogana in the exhibition “Accrochage” (2016).