(1931 in Lollar, Germany)
The German sculptor and painter, Heinz Mack, was born in 1931 in Lollar and attended the Staatliche Kunstakademie Düsseldorffrom 1950 to 1953; furthermore, he studied philosophy at the University of Cologne until 1956, graduating in both programs with state exams.
In 1957, Heinz Mack founded the ZERO group in Düsseldorf, Germany together with Otto Piene.
Besides his participation in Documenta III (1964) and Documenta VI (1977), the artist represented the Federal Republic of Germany at the XXXVthVenice Biennale in 1970. Mack also obtained a professorship in Osaka, Japan in the same year and became a full member of the Akademie der Künste, Berlin to which he belonged until 1992.
The artist has been honored with major awards including the Art Prize of the City of Krefeld (1958), the Premio Marzotto (1963), the Premier Prix Arts Plastiques at the IVth Paris Biennale (1965), the Adolf-Grimme Recognition Award for his ‘Tele-Mack’ movie (1970), first prize in the International Competition of Light 79 in the Netherlands (1979), the Conferment of the Order of Merit of North Rhine-Westphalia, the Großer Kulturpreis des Rheinischen Sparkassen-Verbands (1992), the Grand Federal Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for his work and function as an ambassador of culture (2004) as well as the Prize of the Cultural Foundation of the City of Dortmund (2012). He was also awarded the Grand Federal Cross of Merit with Star of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2011. In 2016, the city of Düsseldorf bestowed the Jan-Wellem-Ring upon Heinz Mack. He received the Moses Mendelssohn Medal in 2017. In the same year, Mack was honored as Düsseldorfer of the year 2017 for his lifetime achievement.
In June 2014, the sculpture ensemble ‘The Sky Over Nine Columns’ was inaugurated on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice. The nine columns, each measures eight meters, are covered with more than 850,000 gold-platedtesserae. From the beginning of September 2015 until May 2016, the ensemble was shown in front of the Sakip Sabanci Museum, Istanbul. Since June 2016, the columns have been on view in Valencia – surrounded by the futuristic architecture of Santiago Calatrava at Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias. The installation was exhibited on the shore of lake St. Moritz from December 2016 until April 2017.
In October 2014, a major ZERO exhibition opened at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York and travelled the following year to various venues, including the Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin, the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, and the Sakip Sabanci Museum, Istanbul, drawing a total of almost 700,000 visitors.
In the summer of 2015 the senate of the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf unanimously elected Mack as an honorary member, and comprehensive museum exhibitions took place in Baden-Baden, Ulm, and Duisburg. In 2016 and 2017 various solo exhibitions took place in museums and galleries in Istanbul, Berlin, Cologne, Paris, Singapore, Vienna, New York, and Hong Kong, and an array of books were published. The catalogue raisonné of Mack’s ZERO painting was presented in the context of a solo show at the Akademiegalerie in Düsseldorf. Various exhibitions took place in the year 2018, including a special presentation of Mack and Goethe in the Goethe-Museum, Düsseldorf. Also in 2019, numerous exhibitions will take place in Germany and abroad. The presentation at the Musée Théodore Monod d'art africain in Dakar, Senegal, is Mack's first solo exhibition on the African continent.
Light is a central theme in the non-representational art of Heinz Mack. His multifaceted oeuvre includes sculptures of various materials – also monumental ones for public spaces, light reliefs, light cubes, light rotors, light stelae, paintings, drawings, pastels, ink drawings, graphics, photography, mosaics, ceramics, conceptual designs of public spaces and interiors, stage settings, as well as literary works.
Heinz Mack’s artworks have been shown in 400 solo and numerous group exhibitions. His works are among the holdings of some 136 public collections. A multitude of books and catalogues, as well as two films document his work.
Heinz Mack lives and works in Mönchengladbach, Germany and Ibiza, Spain.