Günther Uecker

Date/place of birth

1930 Wendorf, Pomerania

Günther Uecker - Feld 83/84
Günther Uecker - Feld 83/84

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Günther Uecker biography

Günther Uecker – Buy and sell works in our Contemporary Art auction

The nail pictures of the German ZERO artist belong to the most sought-after objects in our auctions. Here you will find the prices that have already been achieved for works at Kunsthaus Lempertz. We have brought together the highlights of the last few years.

Squatter and artist – Günther Uecker in Berlin

Born in 1930 in Wendorf, Mecklenburg, Günther Uecker spent his childhood and youth however on the Baltic island of Wustrow where his father was employed as an engineer and ground staff at the airport. His positive childhood experiences as well more traumatic ones with the Russian occupation of the island in the spring of 1945 would characterise the later work of the artist. In 1949, Uecker began studying painting at the decorative arts college in Wismar, later moving to the art school in Berlin-Weißensee. In 1953 Uecker became one of the first squatters.

1955 – Move to Düsseldorf

In 1955 he moved to West Germany to study under his role model Otto Pankok at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. According to Uecker himself, he was interrogated for several weeks in an emergency camp for refugees from the GDR as an alleged GDR spy. Uecker had already found the nail for his primary tool and medium by the end of the 1950s, and which has remined till now. Further basic elements from the beginning are light, space and movement. Having felt connected to Zen Buddhism since the early 1950s, the colour white also became an expression of a spiritual mindset. Nailed objects, kinetic objects, film and installations also emerged alongside structural reliefs from the beginning of the 1960s.

Member of the artist group ZERO since 1961

In 1961 Uecker joined the ZERO group which was founded in 1958 by Otto Piene and Heinz Mack. Zero announced a visual zero point and an artistic new beginning after the war, which was conceptually and aesthetically opposed to the Informel. The three artists remain to this day among the leading driving forces of international post-war art.

Uecker also active as stage designer

In the late 1960s in particular, the confrontation with Fluxus and Happening led to several actions, such as “Besetzung” of the Kunsthalle in Baden-Baden (1968, together with Gerhard Richter), “Gehen über Schnee” (1969), or “Beschießung des Meeres mit Feuerpfeilen (1970). Uecker’s oeuvre also included stage set designs - such as for the opera “Lohengrin” in Bayreuth (1976) and “Tristan und Isolde in Stuttgart (1981) – and art in public spaces such as “Stalaktitenfeld” in the Dusseldorf Tonhalle (1978) and the prayer room in the Berlin Reichstag (1998/1999). Throughout his life, the artist was concerned with the moral demands on modern man and the possibility to connect art with life as an ethical guideline. The political aspect of his work is represented, among other things, by “Ashemen” from 1986, created as a reaction to the reactor accident in Chernobyl. From 1974 to 1995 Uecker held a professorship ate the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf.

Günther Uecker receives numerous awards and prizes

His numerous awards include, among others, the Kaiserring der Stadt Goslar (1983), the Bundesverdienstkreuz First Class (1985), as well as the Orden Pour le Mérite for science and art (2000). Together with Otto Piene, Heinz Mack and the Museum Kunstpalast, he set up the ZERO Foundation in Düsseldorf, dedicated to the research and preservation of the art movement. The artist lives and works in Düsseldorf.

© Kunsthaus Lempertz

Günther Uecker Prices

Günther UeckerFeld 83/84€788.000
Günther UeckerGespalten€536.000
Günther UeckerUntitled€342.000
Günther UeckerFeld€310.000
Günther UeckerWeisses Feld€305.000
Günther UeckerZero Garden€254.100

Günther Uecker - Current offers and reference objects