In 1961, Günther Uecker became the third member of the ZERO group, joining founding members Heinz Mack and Otto Piene. Throughout the 1950s, Uecker nurtured an interest in repetition and ritual through an engagement with the philosophies of Buddhism, Taoism, and Islam. Ultimately, he developed routines of his own, including the repetitive hammering of nails—a process he eventually translated into his artistic practice. His nail-relief works exceed the limits of the picture plane, creating calculated patterns of light and shadow. On first glance, the aptly titled Overgrowth appears to be an abyss of texture. However, further inspection reveals shapes and patterns that morph depending on the viewer’s perspective.
Label from Giant Steps: Artists and the 1960s, June 30–December 30, 2018