In this exhibition, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen explores various facets of Günther Uecker’s wide-ranging oeuvre from a contemporary perspective. This native of Mecklenburg (*1930 in Wendorf) has been an artistic protagonist of the cultural upheavals of a formerly divided postwar Germany, as well as their eyewitness and observer. The presentation illuminates the complex artistic stance of this extraordinary creative personality. A concentrated selection drawn from various work series seeks to render the sheer abundance of his achievement more approachable. It also makes possible deeper insights into Uecker’s dynamism, his transformation of language into imagery, his global orientation, and his inexhaustible energy.
On display in the Grabbe Halle will be pivotal work complexes such as the Terrororchester (Terror Orchestra), the Brief an Peking (Letter to Beijing), the Verletzende Worte (Wounding Words), and a Sandmühle (Sand Mill), as well as the texted images. In the Klee Halle, visitors will encounter the nail reliefs from many different decades, which constitute a biography in images, snapshots of differing artistic and physical states. Depending upon point of view and lighting, the nail pictures develop a sensitive, poetic force and begin to breathe.
Documented as well are the sculptor, the action artist, the filmmaker, the political personality, the active poet – an artist who is strongly connected to Düsseldorf as his elective hometown but is first and foremost present internationally. “Where language fails, the image begins”. Uecker’s statement resonates through decades of his creative production. With consistently recurring motifs such as the spiral and the series, with materials such as stone, sand, earth, and ash, Uecker successfully uses minimalist elements to implant a universally readable language in the minds of beholders. Here is an artist that seeks dialogue – and succeeds within.