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Artist Biographies

Alphabetical A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


Uecker, Guenther
Ury, Lesser

Guenther Uecker

Guenther Uecker
b. 1930
German assemblage, sculpture, and painting, Op art, and installation artist

Guenther Uecker was born March 13, 1930 in Wendorf, Mecklenburg, Germany. He began studying art in 1949 at Wismar, and then attended art school in Berlin-Weibensee, followed by studies in Dusseldorf at the Kunstakademiein 1955. In 1956, he began to use nails in his artworks. In 1960, Uecker met the group ZERO with Heinz Mack and Otto Piene. Artists in this group were pushing for a new beginning of art in opposition to the German Informel. He spent much of his time using the medium of light and studying optical phenomena, series of structures, and the realms of oscillation that actively integrate the viewer and enable him to influence the visual process by kinetic or manual interference. After ZERO dispersed in 1966, Uecker increasingly used nails as his medium of choice and his means of expression, and this material is one that even today stands in the center of his oeuvre. He combined the use of nails with the theme of light, as well as other natural materials, resulting in an interaction among the different elements which created a sensation of light, space, movement, and time. Uecker taught at the Kunstakademie Dusseldorf from 1974 to 1995, and in 2008 he and his previous partners founded the international ZERO foundation. The foundation holds the complete ZERO archives from all three artists, as well as documents and photos from other related artists. Uecker’s works are included in museum collections around the world.

Lesser Ury

Lesser Ury
German Impressionist painter and printmaker, associated with the Dusseldorf school of painting

In 1878 Lesser left school to apprentice with a tradesman, and the next year he went to Dusseldorf to study painting at the Kunstakademie. His first exhibition was in 1889 and met with a hostile reception. In 1893 he joined the Munich Secession, on of several formed by progressive artists in Germany and Austria at the end of the 19th century. In 1922 he had his first major exhibition in Berlin. By this time his critical reputation had grown and his paintings and pastels were in demand. His usual subjects were landscapes, urban landscapes, and interior scenes. He is especially noted for his paintings of nocturnal café scenes and rainy streets.


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