Lot Content

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
Heinz Mack (b. 1931)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more GERMAN MASTERPIECES FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION
Heinz Mack (b. 1931)

Dynamische Struktur (Dynamic Structure)

Details
Heinz Mack (b. 1931)
Dynamische Struktur (Dynamic Structure)
signed and dated 'mack 62' (on the reverse)
synthetic resin on canvas
90 x 80cm.
Painted in 1962
Provenance
Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner in 1963.
Literature
R. Fleck (ed.), Heinz Mack. ZERO Malerei / painting. Catalogue raisonné 1956-1968, Munich 2017, no. 33 (illustrated in colour, p. 72).
Exhibited
Hannover, Kunstverein, Moderne Kunst aus Privatbesitz in Hannover, 1969.
Special Notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

Brought to you by

Elvira Jansen
Elvira Jansen Specialist, Head of Sale

Lot Essay

With its corrugated texture and solarized palette, Dynamische Struktur (Dynamic Structure) is a stunning example of Heinz Mack’s exploration of light, reflection and motion. Painted in 1962, the work was exhibited in 1969 at Kunstverein, Hannover, in the exhibition Moderne Kunst aus Privatbesitz in Hannover. Mack began his series of works entitled Dynamische Struktur in 1958, and the present work is a reverent meditation on the transformative power of light. Here, Mack has superimposed layers of resin to create alternating bands of black and silver, which dance across the large canvas. Using his signature squeegee technique, he raked a comb-like tool over the paint to create crenulations of contrasting colour, at once transparent and opaque.

The luminescent Dynamische Struktur pulsates, and structure, for Mack, was both a paramount consideration and a means to resist the static nature of traditional painting. The broad horizontal zones of grey and black and spikey perpendicular ruptures produce an animated and hypnotic tension of shape and colour. Emblematic of his practice overall, the monochromatic canvas both represses colour in favour of form and simultaneously fuses the two, to propose a hyper-investment in its own materiality. Curator Edouard Derom describes this ethos as ‘ultra-materiality and ultra-visuality’ (E. Derom, ‘The Notion of Dynamic Structure in Heinz Mack’s New Concept of Painting’, Heinz Mack: Zero Painting, Catalogue raisonné, 1956-1968, Munich 2017, p. 24).

Conjuring up a kinetic dynamism through reverberating lines, Dynamische Struktur exemplifies the conceptual concerns of the radical ZERO group, of which Mack was a co-founder along with Otto Piene. Anticipating many of the considerations of the Minimalist, Conceptual, and Optical art movements, ZERO was invested in the dematerialization of the art object through an interrogation of material property. ZERO’s goal was to address and articulate light and space in art. As Mack and Piene wrote in The New Dynamic Structure, ZERO group’s manifesto, ‘the new structural order of pictorial space is primarily determined by the space value of a colour and its frequency’ (H. Mack and O. Piene, ‘The New Dynamic Structure’, 1958, reproduced in Heinz Mack: Zero Painting, Catalogue raisonné, 1956-1968, Munich 2017, p. 35). Indeed, Dynamische Struktur suggests its own electrified current and presents a realm open to possibility: as Mack said, ‘Zero is stillness. Zero is beginning. Zero is round. Zero is moving. Zero is the moon. The sun in Zero. Zero is white. The desert Zero. The sky over Zero. The night. Zero is flowing… Zero is beautiful, dynamo, dynamo, dynamo’ (H. Mack quoted in K. Thomas, Heinz Mack, Recklinghausen 1975, p. 10).

Light’s sculptural potential is what so entranced Mack, and Dynamische Struktur is dimensionally radiant: ‘The quality of light, that is its beauty, is essentially a purely sensorial value, its perception a creative act of freedom within the sphere of our sensibility. By this I mean to say that the quality of light is conceptually not verifiable’ (H. Mack, ‘Light is not Light’, 1964, quoted in Heinz Mack: Early Metal Feliefs 1957-1967, exh. cat., New York, Sperone Westwater, 2011, unpaged). Dynamische Struktur both contains and emanates light; it is the image of a sensation in flashes of silver and black. Indeed, its surface oscillates rhythmically, an arrest of light and form in shimmering paint.

More from Post-War & Contemporary Art

View All
View All