Günther Uecker

Nov 13, 2012

New York City

Günther Uecker is one of Germany’s most influential living artists. He is renowned for his lifelong exploration of violence, redemption and religion – most clearly expressed in his formal, abstract use of nails as a medium. For his current show in New York, Uecker has created over fifteen new works, which include iconic nail works alongside works that continue the artist’s aim to confront global political, cultural, and religious tensions worldwide.

In his works on canvas on wooden board Uecker uses hundreds of nails driven methodically into wood to produce rhythmic structures and forms. The beauty of the compositions stands in stark contrast to the aggressive physical act of producing them, a reference to pain, crucifixion and man’s violence upon his fellow man. The German artist spent his formative years amid the horrors of World War II, making the allusions to pain and penance especially poignant.

For these new paintings Uecker borrowed confrontational words from the Old Testament and etched them into the paint before driving nails through them. He also presents a mural of works on paper emblazoned with the same aggressive language translated into Farsi and a nail piece of a deconstructed Star of David. Exploring similar themes that led him to create a nondenominational prayer room for the Reichstag building in Berlin, Uecker hopes to create a space for dialogue between three major religions of the world. “Art cannot salvage humanity, but with the means of art a dialogue can be enabled, calling out for the preservation of humanity,” he explains.

Haunch of Venison

November 13th – December 21st, 2012
550 West 21st Street
New York, NY10011