A3 EDITORIAL | Heinz Mack

Heinz Mack: A Work in Progress

Throughout an illustrious career Heinz Mack has become synonymous with the avant-garde artist group ZERO. Co-founded with the late Otto Piene in 1957, the art movement continues to resonate today. Garnering recent global attention in the past year, Mack’s work was exhibited in the major ZERO survey exhibitions at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin; and the Sakıp Sabancı Museum, Istanbul.

Since the artist’s early beginnings he has maintained a career spanning over six decades that has transitioned into an independent career beyond the ZERO movement. Continuing an an interest in the key tenets of ZERO – the exploration of light, movement and space – Mack became known for his kinetic light pieces, public sculptures and chromatic paintings. Today he has staged almost 300 solo exhibitions and his work is housed within 136 public collections worldwide.

Upon the occasion of the German art pioneer’s 85th birthday, A3 Editorial spoke with Mack about his career and current solo exhibition “Heinz Mack: Review and Outlook” held across three locations in two continents.

 

Galerie Arndt

Installation view: Heinz Mack, Review and Outlook, Arndt Art Agency, Berlin, 2016. Photo credit: Bernd Borchardt

 

Galerie Arndt

Installation view: Heinz Mack, Review and Outlook, Arndt Art Agency, Berlin, 2016. Photo credit: Bernd Borchardt

 

A3 Editorial: To mark your 85th birthday you have developed a landmark exhibition in three venues entitled “Heinz Mack: Review and Outlook”. Has this milestone provided you with the opportunity for reflection?

Heinz Mack: My career is still in progress. I continue to go on with my work in my studio and workshop. I am of course proud to have the chance to show my work in different places worldwide. A birthday is a day like any other, even if it is celebrated just for one day.

 

16a3_mack_web-38

Heinz Mack, Arndt Art Agency, Berlin, February 2016. Image credit: Hannes Wiedemann

 

16a3_mack_web-18

Heinz Mack, Arndt Art Agency, Berlin, February 2016. Image credit: Hannes Wiedemann

 

A3: Each of the venues showcase a range of your works from different time periods providing audiences with a unique overview of your practice.

HM: The selection of works gives a very short overview of about 60 years of my work. I do not think it can be considered as a retrospective as such because my production is so rich. However, each work within the three exhibitions does indeed indicate a particular element or moment in my development and one has to take this very seriously.

 

Heinz%20Mack%20Singapore%202016%20Install%2006_opt

Installation view: Heinz Mack, Review and Outlook, ARNDT, Singapore, 2016. Image courtesy ARNDT Singapore.

 

csm_Baumgarte_3721_c56df4f605

Installation view: Heinz Mack, Review and Outlook, Samuelis Baumgarte, Bielefeld, 2016. Image courtesy Samuelis Baumgarte

 

A3: Do you still hold a strong identification towards the ZERO movement and its core values?

HM: After the recent ZERO exhibitions in New York, Amsterdam, Berlin and Istanbul, a significant proportion of ZERO works have been seen by almost 700,000 visitors in total. It is really a highly successful result. This recognition proves the importance of the ZERO movement as a historical fact that still continues to hold relevance today. The core values are now not only an object of the international market, they also have a spiritual and artistic dimension by its apparition.

 

11_0

Installation view: Heinz Mack Installation, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin 2015. Image courtesy Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin

 

A3: What did you learn from collaborating with fellow ZERO group member Otto Piene? How important is collaboration as part of the artistic process for you?

HM: When starting to explore and uncover new ideas, the artist does depend on other artists, who are sometimes the only other ones at the time who might understand what you are doing. If you enter the emptiness of the desert, the tabula rasa, you should not go alone. However, at the same time, you cannot avoid being alone.

 

“What remains constant for any artist is the recognition that you cannot stop your work.”

 

In his studio 2015

Heinz Mack in his studio, Mönchengladbach, 2015. Image courtesy the artist

 

A3: Over many decades you have proven an extremely dynamic ability to re-invent your practice through a range of different media and techniques. What do you feel has remained a constant in your work?

HM: What remains constant for any artist is the recognition that you cannot stop your work. The expectation of your wishes are like a horizon which is never ending.

A3: What is something valuable you have learned about maintaining your career over such a long period of time?

HM: The time and the space of the arts is dynamic enough unto itself. As an artist your motions are in movement and the movement is your motion.

 

MACK0072_I-like-the-colours-of-your-mind,-2008,-160-x-130-cm-Kopie_opt

Heinz Mack, “I like the colours of your mind” (2008), Chromatische Konstellation (Chromatic Constellation), acrylic on canvas, 160 x 130 cm. Image courtesy ARNDT, Singapore

 

Heinz Mack: Review and Outlook continues until: 

23. April at Arndt Art Agency, Berlin

http://www.arndtartagency.com/

 30. April at Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie, Bielefeld

http://galerie.samuelis-baumgarte.com/

 30. April at Arndt, Singapore

http://arndtfineart.com/ 

The 124 page exhibition catalogue is available for purchase direct through Arndt Art Agency, Berlin.