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Gunther Uecker Biography

Born in Wendorf in 1930, Günther Uecker is a sculptor who lives and works in Düsseldorf. After attending the School of Fine Arts in Düsseldorf and Berlin-Weißensee (1949-1953), he started creating figurative works such as altarpieces, sculptures, and woodcuts with a nail that eventually became his favourite tool and material of choice. Brother of the artist Rotraut, who married Yves Klein for the in 1962, Uecker befriended the French artist and met through him Otto Piene and Heinz Mack, the founders of Gruppo Zero in 1957 in Düsseldorf.

While some of the artists around Gruppo Zero, grouped around Klein, Tinguely, Arman and Spoerri and gave birth to New Realism, Günther Uecker, who joined the group in 1961, joined the ‘idealistic’ trend promoted by Piene and Mack. The lumino-kinetic installations that the three artists performed together frequently involve the viewer’s participation. Uecker’s sculptures involve the laying of nails on canvases, rotating discs, household objects such as stools, tables and pianos as well as ‘floating’ kinetic sculptures such as his ‘New York Dancer’.

In addition to numerous Gruppo Zero exhibitions, Uecker has participated in many international art exhibitions, including Documenta 4 (1968) and the Venice Biennale (1970). His work is exhibited in various art galleries in Germany, while his kinetic ‘New York Dancer’ was part of a major exhibition at the Howard Wise Gallery on West 57th Street.

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