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Studio Sunday: Heinz Mack

A photo of Heinz Mack in his studio


Heinz Mack is a German artist who is known as one of the founders of the ZERO art movement, a movement that reacted to the trend of abstract expressionism by decreeing that art should be devoid of color and emotion.


Despite his associations with ZERO, Mack’s studio looks bright and colorful, with the paintings behind him adding a certain cheerful aesthetic to the whole room. They’re large enough to have the presence of a painted wall.


There’s a sliver of a window visible behind this stack of paintings – interesting that Mack has covered up that window with all of his works, or perhaps there’s enough space to get behind them if he needs to. It appears as though the artist stretches his own canvases, as the table in front of him in the photo looks like it’s holding a freshly glued canvas stretcher that’s still clamped together. Bottles of paint, or possible glue or solvent, sit in front the stretcher on the other side of the table.


The contrast between these bright, colorful works and the very serious-looking artist standing in front of them is an interesting, and almost humorous juxtaposition. Mack’s works have been compared to op-art contemporaries such as Bridget Riley. Aside from his paintings, he is also known for his works of kinetic art, like those of Anthony Howe.


Mack’s works have been shown at large-scale exhibitions including Documenta, the Venice Biennale, and the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich.

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About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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