Heinz Mack (German, b.1931) is a painter and sculptor associated with Op Art, Light Art, and Kinetic Art, and co-founder of the ZERO movement. Born in Lollar, Mack studied painting at the Düsseldorf Academy between 1950 and 1953, and earned a degree in philosophy from Cologne University in 1956.

His style evolved throughout the 1950s, and he experimented with a number of different techniques and media. Influenced early on by the non-geometric abstract art style known as tachisme, Mack worked as an art teacher and independent artist, creating a series of monochrome paintings comprised of ridged, parallel lines. In 1958, he produced his first light reliefs and light cubes in polished aluminum. He then expanded on this work, creating a series of motorized reliefs with rotating elements, and light columns.

In 1957, he had his first solo exhibition in Düsseldorf, and, along with fellow artist Otto Piene, founded the ZERO group. Sometimes linked to Nouveau Réalisme, this movement, whose name was meant to highlight its affinity with Minimalism, emphasized discovery by promoting artistic creation unconstrained by tradition, calling for the use of simple forms and pure colors and light.

After the dissolution of ZERO in 1967, Mack continued to exhibit internationally, at venues such as the 1970 Venice Biennale, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, and the German Industrial Exhibition, for which he created a large-scale environmental work, known as the “light-and-movement” room. Today, his works can be found in collections around the world, including The Museum of Modern Art and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Tate Gallery in London, and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam

The artist lives and works in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Timeline

1931
Born in Lollar, Germany
1950–1953
Studied at the State Art Academy, Dusseldorf, Germany
1956
MA, philosophy, University of Cologne, Germany
1957
Co-founder of the ZERO-group with Otto Piene
1958
Krefeld Art Award
1965
First Prix Arts Plastiques, IV Paris Biennale
1967
ZERO group dissolves; final group exhibition with Otto Piene and Günther Uecker in Bonn; Organized the ZERO Festival at the railway station Rolandseck, to celebrate the end of the ZERO era
1968
Appointed a member of the Academy of Arts, Berlin
1970
Appointed a professor, Osaka, Japan
Adolf-Grimme Award for his film Tele-Mack
Special award from the Film Biennale in Venice for Tele-Mack
1978
Lectured at the University of Toronto, and in the Congress Hall in Berlin
1979
First Prize in the international competition Licht 79, the Netherlands
1983
Lectured at the Zur Kunst unserer Zeit in the Museum Folkwang, Essen
Lectured at the Teheran Museum of Contemporary Art, and in Schiraz at the German Cultural Days
Sky-Art-Conference, Munich
1992
Great Culture Award, Rheinischen Sparkassen-Verbandes
2004
Awarded the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
2008
ZERO Foundation created in Düsseldorf, Germany
2009
Awarded the Ring of Honour by the city of Mönchengladbach
Lives and works in Dusseldorf, Germany

Exhibitions

since 2009
Sammlung Batliner - Monet bis Picasso, permanent exhibition since 2009, Albertina, Vienna, Austria
2013
Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie, Bielefeld, Germany (solo)
2013
Heinz Mack, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie, ART COLOGNE, Germany
2013
Heinz Mack, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie, art KARLSRUHE, Germany
2013
ZERO entre Paris et Düsseldorf, Passage de Retz, Paris, France
2013
DYNAMO! Espace et vision dans l`art de nos jours á 2013, Grand Palais, Galeries Nationales, Paris, France
2012–2013
ZERO auf Papier, Leopold-Hoesch-Museum, Düren, Germany
2012–2013
L´art contemporain du vitrail en Allemagne, Centre international du Vitrail, Chartres, France
2012–2013
Heinz Mack in Berlin. Works From 1958 - 2012, Galerie Arndt, Berlin, Germany
2012
Heinz Mack - das eine ist nicht dasselbe! Galerie Denise René, Paris, France
2012
Heinz Mack - Zwischen den Zeiten, Museum Ostwall, Dortmund, Germany
2012
Asche und Gold. Eine Weltreise, MARTa Herford, Germany
2012
Zwischen Geometrie und Abstraktion,Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie, Bielefeld, Germany
2012
HEINZ MACK zum 80. Geburtstag - 12 Werke aus 6 Jahrzehnten, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie, Bielefeld, Germany
2011
Heinz Mack - Annäherungen - Bilder und Skulpturen, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie, Bielefeld, Germany
2011
Kinetik, Städtisches Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach, Germany
2011
Early Metal Reliefs 1957-1967, Sperone Westwater Gallery, New York
2011
Licht - Raum – Farbe, Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn
2011
12 Werke aus 6 Jahrzehnten, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie, Bielefeld, Germany
2011
Die Sprache meiner Hand, museum kunst palast, Düsseldorf, Germany
2011
ART COLOGNE, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie, Germany
2010
Annäherungen – Bilder und Skulpturen, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie, Bielefeld, Germany
2010
ART COLOGNE, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie, Germany
2010
Heinz Mack / Lucio Fontana, Ben Brown Fine Arts, London
2009
Licht der ZERO-Zeit, Ludwig Museum, Koblenz, Germany
2009
Paintings 1957-1964, Sperone Westwater Gallery, New York
2008
Lichtwelten, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie, Bielefeld
2008
Art Cologne, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie
2008
Heinz Mack, Lichtwelten, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie, Bielefeld, Germany
2007
Art Cologne, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie
2006–2007
Heinz Mack, Pergamon Museum, Berlin
2006
Zero, Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf
2006
Heinz Mack, Malerei und Skulptur, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie, Bielefeld
2006
Cologne Fine Art, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie
2006
Art Cologne, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie
2006
Kunstmesse München, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie
2006
Zeitschnitt, Malerei, Fotografie, Skulptur und interaktive Medien, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie, Bielefeld, Germany
2005
Art Cologne, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie
2004
Art Cologne, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie
2003
Art Cologne, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie
2002
Art Cologne, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie
1998
Utopie & Wirklichkeit, Liechtensteinische Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Liechtenstein
1996
Im Zeichen der Sternzeit, Galerie Holtmann Cologne, Germany
1987
Sculptures, Galerie Holtmann Cologne, Germany
1982
Hommage à Barnett Newman, Nationalgalerie Berlin, Germany
1958–1977
Documenta II, III, IV, VI, Kassel, Germany
1965
Nul-Zero u.a., Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Netherlands