The German painter and object artist Günther Uecker was born on 13 March 1930 in Wendorf near Crivitz. Known primarily for his nail pictures, he also creates watercolors, in addition to works made of cords, ash, wood and sand. Uecker lives and works in Düsseldorf and in St. Gallen and also ownsa a studio in Berlin.
Uecker grew up on the peninsula of Wustrow on the Baltic coast of Germany and experienced the end of the Second World War there. The Communism of the Soviet Union did not enable him to process the horror of war in his art, so that Uecker fled across the border to the West in 1953 before the Wall was built. From 1955 he studied with the Expressionist Otto Pankok at the Düsseldorf Academy, where he was able to develop artistically, to practice figuration, abstraction and action, and to create his first reliefs of iron nails. From 1962 he used furniture as a medium for his nail art and caused a sensation in 1964 when he hit nails into a piano during a vernissage. After Uecker became a member of the artist group ZERO in 1961, he also studied kinetic light art. Together with his colleagues Heinz Mack and Otto PIiene, he was setting up the ZERO space, which consisted of white and silver moving objects, at the documenta III in Kassel in 1964. In 1970 Uecker, together with the artists Thomas Lenk, Heinz Mack and Georg Karl Pfahler, exhibited at the Venice Biennale. From the 1980s onwards, Uecker increasingly took up political issues, such as the "ashes" cycle, which refers to the catastrophe of Chernobyl. He also discusses the Iraq war and environmental problems. Other important works are the Stubenmahl for Buchenwald Concentration Camp (1988), the design of the devotional space in the new Reichstag building in Berlin (1999) and the design of the outdoor stage stage for the piece Wilhelm Tell on the Rütliwiese in Switzerland (2004). In 1974, Uecker took over a professorship at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf until 1995. In order to preserve and promote the ZERO movement, Uecker, Max and Piene founded the "ZERO foundation" in Düsseldorf with the support of the "museum kunst palast" foundation in 2008. In addition to numerous exhibitions, the Galerie W&K Wienerroither und Kohlbacher was able to show a large exhibition of his works in Vienna in 2016.