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Photography by Elisabeth Bernstein

New York Dancer I
1965
nails, cloth, metal, electric motor
78 3/4 x 11 3/4 x 11 3/4 inches (200 x 30 x 30 cm)

Photography by Elisabeth Bernstein

White Bird
1969-70
wood, white paint, nails
15 3/4 x 15 3/4 inches (40 x 40 cm)

Photography by Elisabeth Bernstein

Photography by Elisabeth Bernstein

Photography by Elisabeth Bernstein

Flower
1968
nails on canvas on wood
23 5/8 x 23 5/8 inches (60 x 60 cm)

Photography by Elisabeth Bernstein

White Sphere
1961
white paint over nails on wooden sphere
diameter: 6 11/16 inches (17 cm) 

Drawing for White Sphere
1961
pencil on paper
24 x 16 15/16 inches (61 x 43 cm)

Photography by Elisabeth Bernstein

Fire Painting (Thick Painting)
1964
nails on canvas on wood
36 1/4 x 28 3/4 x 6 1/3 inches (92.1 x 73 x 16.1 cm)

Photography by Elisabeth Bernstein

Photography by Elisabeth Bernstein

String Chair
1969
kitchen chair with back and seat cover with long strings pulled through holes
34 1/4 x 16 1/8 x 16 1/8 inches (87 x 41 x 41 cm) (including strings) 

Photography by Elisabeth Bernstein

Spiral
1958
oil on canvas
39 3/8 x 39 3/8 inches (100 x 100 cm)

Light Globe
1961
white paint over nails on wooden sphere
diameter: 6 11/16 inches (17 cm)
 

Photography by Elisabeth Bernstein

Diagonal Division
1969-74
nails on canvas on wood
39 3/8 x 39 3/8 inches (100 x 100 cm)
 

Photography by Elisabeth Bernstein

Photography by Elisabeth Bernstein

Light-Disk
1966
nails on canvas on wood, wooden case, electric motor, spotlight
31 1/2 x 31 1/2 inches (80 x 80 cm)

Photography by Elisabeth Bernstein

Sand Mill
1970
sand, wood, cord, electric motor
Diameter: 118 inches (300 cm)

Photography by Elisabeth Bernstein

White Bird
1964
titanium white paint and nails on canvas laid down on panel
59 x 59 inches (150 x 150 cm)

Photography by Elisabeth Bernstein

Homage to Fontana II
1962
nails and graphite on canvas on wood
39 3/8 x 31 1/2 inches (100 x 80 cm)

Photography by Elisabeth Bernstein

Organic Structure
1960
nails on paperboard in wooden case, white
40 1/2 x 40 1/2 inches (103 x 103 cm)

Column
1959
nails and graphite on canvas on paperboard, glue
27 1/2 x 6 1/4 inches

Photography by Elisabeth Bernstein

Oval Structure
1957
charcoal, applied from the back
11 3/8 x 10 5/8 inches

Five Light Disks, Cosmic Vision
1961-1981
nails on canvas on wood, wooden case, electric motor, spotlight
94 1/2 x 283 1/2 x 15 3/4 inches (240 x 720 x 40 cm)

Photography by Elisabeth Bernstein

New York Dancer I
1965
nails, cloth, metal, electric motor
78 3/4 x 11 3/4 x 11 3/4 inches (200 x 30 x 30 cm)

Photography by Elisabeth Bernstein

White Bird
1969-70
wood, white paint, nails
15 3/4 x 15 3/4 inches (40 x 40 cm)

Photography by Elisabeth Bernstein

Photography by Elisabeth Bernstein

Photography by Elisabeth Bernstein

Flower
1968
nails on canvas on wood
23 5/8 x 23 5/8 inches (60 x 60 cm)

Photography by Elisabeth Bernstein

White Sphere
1961
white paint over nails on wooden sphere
diameter: 6 11/16 inches (17 cm) 

Drawing for White Sphere
1961
pencil on paper
24 x 16 15/16 inches (61 x 43 cm)

Photography by Elisabeth Bernstein

Fire Painting (Thick Painting)
1964
nails on canvas on wood
36 1/4 x 28 3/4 x 6 1/3 inches (92.1 x 73 x 16.1 cm)

Photography by Elisabeth Bernstein

Photography by Elisabeth Bernstein

String Chair
1969
kitchen chair with back and seat cover with long strings pulled through holes
34 1/4 x 16 1/8 x 16 1/8 inches (87 x 41 x 41 cm) (including strings) 

Photography by Elisabeth Bernstein

Spiral
1958
oil on canvas
39 3/8 x 39 3/8 inches (100 x 100 cm)

Light Globe
1961
white paint over nails on wooden sphere
diameter: 6 11/16 inches (17 cm)
 

Photography by Elisabeth Bernstein

Diagonal Division
1969-74
nails on canvas on wood
39 3/8 x 39 3/8 inches (100 x 100 cm)
 

Photography by Elisabeth Bernstein

Photography by Elisabeth Bernstein

Light-Disk
1966
nails on canvas on wood, wooden case, electric motor, spotlight
31 1/2 x 31 1/2 inches (80 x 80 cm)

Photography by Elisabeth Bernstein

Sand Mill
1970
sand, wood, cord, electric motor
Diameter: 118 inches (300 cm)

Photography by Elisabeth Bernstein

White Bird
1964
titanium white paint and nails on canvas laid down on panel
59 x 59 inches (150 x 150 cm)

Photography by Elisabeth Bernstein

Homage to Fontana II
1962
nails and graphite on canvas on wood
39 3/8 x 31 1/2 inches (100 x 80 cm)

Photography by Elisabeth Bernstein

Organic Structure
1960
nails on paperboard in wooden case, white
40 1/2 x 40 1/2 inches (103 x 103 cm)

Column
1959
nails and graphite on canvas on paperboard, glue
27 1/2 x 6 1/4 inches

Photography by Elisabeth Bernstein

Oval Structure
1957
charcoal, applied from the back
11 3/8 x 10 5/8 inches

Five Light Disks, Cosmic Vision
1961-1981
nails on canvas on wood, wooden case, electric motor, spotlight
94 1/2 x 283 1/2 x 15 3/4 inches (240 x 720 x 40 cm)

Press Release - OLD

L&M Arts, New York is proud to exhibit a body of early work by Günther Uecker (b. 1930, Wendorf, Germany). This seminal group of paintings, panels, and structures dating from the late 1950s through the 1970s represent the artist's first major return to New York in over four decades. 

 

Renowned in Europe, Uecker visited and lived in New York in 1965 and 1966. He had his first solo exhibition in the United States at the Howard Wise Gallery on West 57th Street, showing important work such as the kinetic New York Dancer I (1966), also featured at L&M Arts. When in motion, thousands of long nails protrude from a heavy sailcloth covering and dematerialize into an optical blur.

 

At the time of the Howard Wise exhibition, Uecker was an established artist in Germany – part of the inner circle of the Zero Group. This loose association of artists were united by like desires, notably to eradicate the burden of pictorial content and emotionalism from their work. Since that time, Uecker has continued his exploration into an art form he describes as “a journey towards painting.”

 

According to Dieter Honisch, Uecker has always maintained a manual relationship to art. In a powerful early painting, Black Lung (1957), Uecker uses his fingers to manipulate the paint forming a sculpted, material surface; dark and monochromatic, it is at once erotic and vacant. Later, nails would help Uecker objectify the surface, bringing a functional tool into the aesthetic realm. In Homage to Fontana II (1962), the nail is both an instrument of aggression and a source of textural beauty freed from pictorialism. Even banal objects were subjected to the artist’s ritualistic procedure. In works such as Chair II (1963) and Nailed-Over Table (1964), Uecker ironically subjugates functionality to artistic labor.

 

Uecker has explored diverse media, among them earth, light, and his own body. In all forms, we find the artist’s preoccupation with humanity – particularly the subjective and contradictory relationship each person forms with their surroundings. Perpetual kinetic spirals of sand and light speak to this uniquely physical brand of mysticism, as in Sand Mill (1970) and Uecker’s large-scale, five-part masterpiece, Five Light Disks, Cosmic Vision (1961-1981).

 

His work can be found in the collections of major institutions worldwide, among them: The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Georges Pompidou Centre, Paris; Stiftung museum kunst palast, Düsseldorf; the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice; and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.

 

The exhibition will feature a fully illustrated catalogue including a recent interview with the artist by Hans Ulrich Obrist.

 

Photo Credit: Elisabeth Bernstein

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