Author(s): Valerie L. Hillings
Zero: Countdown to Tomorrow, 1950s-60s, is the first large-scale historical survey in the United States dedicated to the German artist group Zero (1957-66). Founded by Heinz Mack and Otto Piene, joined by Gunther Uecker in 1961, the group expanded to include ZERO, an international network of like-minded artists who shared the groups aspiration to redefine art in the aftermath of World War II. Featuring more than thirty artists from nine countries, the catalogue explores the experimental practices developed by this extensive network of artists whose work anticipated aspects of Land art, Minimalism, and Conceptual art. The publication is organized around points of intersection, exchange, and collaboration that defined these artists shared history. Among the themes explored are the establishment of new definitions of painting; the introduction of movement and light as both formal and idea-based aspects of art; the use of space as subject and material; the interrogation of the relationship between nature, technology, and humankind; and the production of live actions or demonstrations. At once a snapshot of a specific group and a portrait of a generation, this title celebrates the pioneering nature of both the art and the transnational vision advanced by the Zero network.