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Collections White Field

Collections White Field

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Image
Courtesy Walker Art Center
Rights
Copyright retained by the artist

Copyright

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Title
White Field
Date
1964
Dimensions
unframed 34.5 × 34.5 × 2.75 inches
Materials
paint, nails on canvas on wood
Location
Not on view

Object Details

Type
Paintings (Paintings)
Accession Number
1964.41
Style
Conceptual
Inscriptions
reverse in black signed “(illegible) 64”; reverse TL in Red ink SR983 reverse TC in black “Haut” “Ontapell Weissifeld I” reverse TC in plastic relief tape “Gunther Uecker Whitefield I”
Physical Description
Many nails painted white partially driven into a white piece of wood.
Credit Line
Gift of the T. B. Walker Foundation, 1964

object label Günther Uecker, White Field (1964) Walker Art Center, 1999

I use mechanical means to overcome the subjective gesture, to objectivise it, to create a situation of freedom.–Günther Uecker, 1964-1965

Günther Uecker is a German sculptor-stage designer who turned away from figurative painting in 1957 to make monochromatic relief structures with nails. He was a member of Zero, a group of artists that sought to stimulate dialogue between artists and scientists, and promoted in their work a radical rethinking of the picture plane. The nailed picture became the antithesis of the painted picture; it allowed Uecker to explore the articulation of light through the shadows created by the nails, the unchanging ritual of hammering, and the violation of the sacred surface–the canvas of a painting.

He often incorporated corks and cardboard tubes into the surface of the paintings, and nailed items of furniture such as chairs, pianos, and television sets to create freestanding sculptural forms. As part of a Zero demonstration in 1961, Uecker painted a street white in an effort to jolt and stimulate the imagination of an ossified society. In 1974, after making a number of works influenced by the Conceptual Art and Body Art movements, Uecker returned to designing stage sets for operas.

Label text for Günther Uecker, White Field (1964), from the exhibition Art in Our Time: 1950 to the Present, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, September 5, 1999 to September 2, 2001.

Copyright 1999 Walker Art Center