Heinz Mack

Date/place of birth

8 March 1931 in Lollar

Heinz Mack - Untitled
Heinz Mack - Untitled

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Heinz Mack biography

Without light, advanced life is unthinkable, as little as the art of Heinz Mack: the German artist created not only forms and shapes out of light but altered entire landscapes into an echo of lost paradise that awakens longings.

Heinz Mack – Studies in art education and philosophy, foundation of the ZERO group

Heinz Mack was born on 8 March 1931 in Hessian Lollar. He started his art studies in 1950 at the Düsseldorf Kunstakademie, and from 1953 studied philosophy in addition in Cologne. In 1956 he passed his state examination in philosophy and art education and in the same year moved into his first studio in Düsseldorf, which he shared with Otto Piene. Heinz Mack was already studying the nature of light and vibration in these early years. The Dynamische Strukturen pictures were created, consisting only of a scale of black and white values in vertical or horizontal straight lines. In association also with Piene, Heinz Mack opened a series of evening exhibitions in the studio spaces in Gladbacher Straße, the success of which led ultimately to the foundation of the artist group ZERO. Mack and his combatants had already coined the term in 1957, but the actual founding act took place on the seventh evening exhibition held on 24 April 1958 under the motto “Das rote Bild” (The red picture). Macke and PIene also saw their art as a response to the intellectual and aesthetic emptiness in Germany after the Second World War.

The beauty of light in many facets

As early as 1959, Hein Mack received the Kunstpreis der Stadt Krefeld, and in the same year took part for the first time in documenta in Kassel. In 1960 he was able to hold his first solo exhibition in the Fasanenstraße in Berlin, and also first tried out his so-called “rotors”, relief structures moved by motors. Günther Uecker joined Piene and Mack in 1961 to work together on the “light mills”. Mack’s multi-layered play with light is driven by sculptures made of very different materials, and with virtuoso ease, he designed steles, reliefs and cubes of light, created paintings, pastels, drawings and photographs. In 1966 he took part for a second time in documenta, and in 1970 represented the Federal Republic of Germany at the Venice Biennale, took a professorship in Osaka, and became a member of the Akademie der Künste in Berlin, to which he belonged until 1992.

A tireless paragon of hard work and inspiration

Meanwhile, prices paid for works by Heinz Mack reach significant heights. The commercialisation of art is unsettling however for the artist. On the one hand he is pleased that he can afford heating – in his younger years he would visit hotel foyers to warm up because it was bitterly cold in his unheated studio. In contrast, in 1984 it became uncomfortably hot for Mack as it was in this year that he lost his listed timber house in Mönchengladbach to a fire, also destroying many of his works. Despite this blow, Mack was not short of content for new exhibitions: the bustling artist had by now set up four warehouses with a total of around 1200 square metres full of artworks. He blames this proud yield on his immense diligence which never lets him rest.

Heinz Mack lives and works in Mönchengladbach and Ibiza.

© Kunsthaus Lempertz

Heinz Mack Prices

ArtistArtworkPrice
Heinz MackUntitled€360.000
Heinz MackUntitled (Lichtrelief)€310.000
Heinz MackLichtfelder (Chromatic Constellation)€300.000
Heinz MackDynamische Struktur Schwarz auf Wei߀248.000
Heinz MackGroßes Mosaik (Klang-Farben)€248.000
Heinz MackSchwarzes Sternbild. Chromatische Konstellation (Black constellation. Chromatic constellation)€181.500

Heinz Mack - Current offers and reference objects