Art Consulting

Heinz Mack

Heinz Mack was born in 1931 in Lollar, Hesse, Germany. He attended the Dusseldorf Academy of Art from 1950 until 1953, the year he passed the state exam. Together with Günter Uecker and Otto Piene, he founded the influential artist group ZERO (Yves Klein was also a member) and took part, one year later, in Documenta III. In 1965 the artist was honoured with the 1st Prix arts plastiques of the 4th Biennale de Paris. In 2004 he was awarded the Großes Bundesverdienstkreuz der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Great cross of merit) in recognition of his works and his role as a committed cultural representative. (1)

Geometrie und Farbe, 2004, acrylic on canvas, 207 x 130 cm

Geometrie und Farbe, 2004, acrylic on canvas, 207 x 130 cm

Painting has always been concerned with light and its representation (2), but the young ZERO artists, notably Heinz Mack, did away with painting and created artworks with light itself. In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, Mack’s œuvre was dominated by works incorporating light as an active agent, mainly through the use of shiny metal, but also by deploying movement. The movement was enabled by a “rotor,” a revolving relief element that refracted light in various ways depending on the surface structure. Among other materials, Mack used aluminium, very uncommon in the arts at the time.

Ohne Titel (without title), 2012, chromatic constellation, acrylic on canvas, 73 x 71 cm

Ohne Titel (without title), 2012, chromatic constellation, acrylic on canvas, 73 x 71 cm

Poème Colorant, 2004, chromatic constellation, acrylic on canvas, 81 x 95 cm

Poème Colorant, 2004, chromatic constellation, acrylic on canvas, 81 x  95 cm

The works have a somewhat regular, serial pattern. The rotors were mechanical, but the repetition of light patterns was not because it was also dependent on the non-mechanical environmental conditions. Light, although physically matter (consisting of photons), must be seen in this context as immaterial, as it is not bound to another matter such as colour, for instance. Mack was also interested in vibration, so that one is tempted. Serial structures and visual patterns often become an integral part of Mack’s works, like in “Dynamische Struktur” (1960; Dynamic Structure), whereas, in sculptures like “Bolzano-Kubus” (1974; Bolzano Cube), we are confronted with dimensional dynamics, in which various patterns of light refractions create visions of intangible shapes.

Left: Ohne Titel, 2007, plexiglass, 303 x 45,5 x 10 cm; Right: Ohne Titel, 2011, 160 x 130 cm

Left: Ohne Titel, 2007, plexiglass, 303 x 45,5 x 10 cm; Right: Ohne Titel, 2011, 160 x 130 cm

Ohne Titel, 2011, chromatic constellation, acrylic on canvas, 160 x 130 cm

Ohne Titel, 2011, chromatic constellation, acrylic on canvas, 160 x 130 cm

Mack defines the aesthetic being of his works by way of light and its refractions, by vibration and a representation of immateriality, previously unknown in art. If we think of the “transzendentales Leuchtlicht” (transcendental shining light; Wolfgang Schöne), for instance, we see that in the rainbow halo of the Resurrection in Gruenewald’s Isenheim altar piece, we are confronted with a symbolic representation of the transcendental, not with physical light. A similar dimension, albeit realised in a very different manner, is encountered in such works by Heinz Mack.

Transit, 2006, chromatic constellation, acrylic on canvas, 203 x 307 cm

Transit, 2006, chromatic constellation, acrylic on canvas, 203 x 307 cm

Ohne Titel, 2004, pastel on paper, 65 x 61 cm

Ohne Titel, 2004, pastel on paper, 65 x 61 cm

Mack developed a predilection for prismatic geometrical shapes (like in his drawings and paintings). He eventually returned to painting and to colours in the 1980’s (he had already been making colourful screen-prints of his main motifs in the 70’s).

Red Cross, 2012, chromatic constellation, acrylic on canvas, 163 x 147 cm

Red Cross, 2012, chromatic constellation, acrylic on canvas, 163 x 147 cm

Ohne Titel, 2012, stainless steel, 70 x 49 x 40,5 cm

Ohne Titel, 2012, stainless steel, 70 x 49 x 40,5 cm

1991 saw the advent of his painting series of chromatic constellations, new interpretations of and investigations into the relationships between shapes and colours. Here and there, Mack includes allusions to Sonia Delaunay, especially by using the emotive dimension of colour; in “Farb-Prisma” (1993; Colour Prism), for instance, which combines lively, shiny colours with overlapping shapes reminiscent of 3D-projections of four-dimensional objects. In fact, Mack constantly refers to geometry and planimetry in his titles. Such strongly coloured and clearly composed images are avant-garde in the sense that they also include an aspect of reconstruction. Mack doesn’t refute historical models of inquiries into the nature of the relationship between colours and shapes, but rather points at them explicitly. Yet, his solutions are individual and unique because of their iconic properties. (3)

Ohne Titel, 2013, Chromatische Konstellation, acrylic/cardboard/fiberboard, 140 x 150 cm

Ohne Titel, 2013, Chromatische Konstellation, acrylic/cardboard/fiberboard, 140 x 150 cm

Fünf Himmelsrichtungen, 1970, steel, gilded, 55 x 47 x 47 cm

Fünf Himmelsrichtungen, 1970, steel, gilded, 55 x 47 x 47 cm

For his critical position within a changing modern society and its discourses, for its progressiveness, depth, clarity and influential aesthetic concepts, and, last but not least for its profound, even radical humanism, Mack’s œuvre counts among the most important artistic achievements within the past 60 years. (4)

Ohne Titel, 2006, marble, 61 x 20 x 20 cm

Ohne Titel, 2006, marble, 61 x 20 x 20 cm

Map for lightbeams, 2012, chromatic constellation, acrylic on canvas, 100 x 79 cm

Map for lightbeams, 2012, chromatic constellation, acrylic on canvas, 100 x 79 cm

(1) See the artist’s website, www.mack-kunst.com/heinz-mack/short-biography.html

(2) See Wolfgang Schöne: Über das Licht in der Malerei, Berlin 1954

(3) See Max Imdahl: Giotto Arenafresken : Ikonographie, Ikonologie, Ikonik. Munich 1996

(4) See Gerhard Charles Rump: Up Front At All Times. On the oeuvre of Heinz Mack, in: "Heinz Mack: Annäherungen - Bilder und Skulpturen", Catalogue, Samuelis Baumgarte Gallery, Bielefeld 2011

Samuelis Baumgarte exhibitions:

The Samuelis Baumgarte gallery has been acting for the artist for many years and regularly presents exhibitions (like in 2001, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2010) and also shows his works on international art fairs.

Heinz Mack. Strukturen - Licht - Bewegung, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie, 19.10.2013 - 31.01.2014

Heinz Mack, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie, 20.11. - 24.11.2013, Cologne Fine Art

Zwischen Geometrie und Abstraktion, Gruppenausstellung, 11.02. - 24.03.2012, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie Zwischen Geometrie und Abstraktion

Heinz Mack - 12 Werke aus 6 Jahrzehnten, One-person-show, kuratiert von Dr. Christoph Vitali, 19.03.-21.05.2011, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie Heinz Mack zum 80. Geburtstag. Zwölf Werke aus sechs Jahrzehnten.Katalog zur Ausstellung

Heinz Mack, Annäherungen - Bilder und Skulpturen, 08.05.2010 - 01.09.2010, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie Annäherungen - Gemälde und Skulpturen

Heinz Mack, Lichtwelten, 10.06.2008 - 30.08.2008, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie Lichtwelten

Heinz Mack, Malerei und Skulptur, 11.03.2006 - 04.04.2006, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie Malerei und Skulptur

Zeitschnitt, Malerei, Fotografie, Skulptur und interaktive Medien, Gruppenausstellung, 14.01.2006 - 14.03.2006, Samuelis Baumgarte GalerieZeitschnitt

Museum exhibitions:

ZERO. Countdown to Tomorrow. 1950s-60s, July 2015, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

ZERO. Countdown to Tomorrow. 1950s-60s, March - June 2015, Gropius-Bau, Berlin

ZERO. Countdown to Tomorrow. 1950s-60s, 10.10.2014 - 07.01.2015, Guggenheim Museum, New York

Mack. The Sky Over Nine Columns, 03.06. - 23.11.2014, Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice

ZERO-Zwischen Himmel und Erde, 15.05. - 20.07.2014, Zeppelin Museum, Friedrichshafen

Heinz Mack. Der Garten im Garten, 06.04. - 24.08.2014, Leopold-Hoesch-Museum

ZERO in Gelsenkirchen 1963/2013 - Zurück in die Zukunft, 22.11.2013 - 19.01.2014, Kunstmuseum Gelsenkirchen

SCHEINWERFER. Lichtkunst in Deutschland im 21. Jahrhundert, 16.11.2013 - 30.03.2014, Kunstmuseum Celle

ZERO entre Paris et Düsseldorf, 10.07. - 18.09.2013, Passage de Retz, Paris

L´art contemporain du vitrail en Allemagne, 21.04.2012 - 30.09.2013, Centre international du Vitrail, Chartres

DYNAMO! Espace et vision dans l`art de nos jours á 2013, 10.04 - 22.07.2013, Grand Palais, Galeries Nationales, Paris

ZERO auf Papier., 25.11.2012 - 17.02.2013, Leopold-Hoesch-Museum, Düren

Heinz Mack - das eine ist nicht dasselbe!, 21.09. - 27.10.2012, Galerie Denise René, Paris

Heinz Mack - Zwischen den Zeiten, 06.05. - 29.07.2012, Museum Ostwall, Dortmund Flyer

Asche und Gold. Eine Weltreise, 28.01. – 22.04.2012, MARTa Herford Flyer

Heinz Mack: Sperone Westwater, New York, 07.01. - 19.02.2011:Heinz Mack at Sperone Westwater artnet Magazine (Link) Artikel Walleston-Art InAmerica 01/11

Umfangreiche Retrospektive der Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn, 18.03.-10.07.2011:HEINZ MACK - Licht - Raum - Farbe Flyer

Parallel Ehrung im museum kunst palast Düsseldorf mit einer Ausstellung:Mack - Die Sprache meiner Hand

Sammlung Batliner - Monet bis Picasso, Dauerausstellung seit 2009, Albertina, Wien

Fairs:

Heinz Mack, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie, 20.11. - 24.11.2013, Cologne Fine Art

Heinz Mack, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie, ART COLOGNE 2013 ART COLOGNE 2013

art KARLSRUHE 2013

ART COLOGNE 2012

Media and press:

German TV documentary, 2011, Heinz Mack: Ein Leben für die Kunst

The ZERO-artist Heinz Mack among the Top 20 of most successful artists: manager magazine 5/12

Heinz Mack at Sperone Westwater artnet Magazine
Walleston-ArtInAmerica 1/21/2011

Literature:

Two ambitious books on Mack are available:

Heinz Mack. Leben und Werk. (PDF) Ein Buch vom Künstler über den Künstler. 1931-2011. DuMont-Verlag, Köln, 400 pp. and

MACK – MALEREI / PAINTING. 1991–2011 (PDF).

Cologne Fine Art 2014

Hall 11.1 - Booth C10

November 19 - 23, 2014

Hans-Jörg Mayer

Moments

September 13 - November 22, 2014

Surreale Begegnungen

Arp,Bellmer,Brassaï,deChirico,Charchoune,Dalí, Delvaux,Ernst,Klee,Masson,Miró,Oppenheim, Picasso,Man Ray,Tanguy,Wunderlich

September 13 - November 22, 2014

Opening times: Mo-Fr: 10 - 18 Uhr | Sa: 10 - 14 Uhr
Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie | Niederwall 10 | 33602 Bielefeld | Germany
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