"MACK. Just Light and Colour"

S.U. Sakıp Sabancı Museum is hosting the leading artist of German modernism, Heinz Mack, with an exhibition showcasing the artist’s long and prolific career with over a hundred works.

The exhibition titled ‘MACK. Just Light and Colour’, made possible with the main sponsorship of Tahincioğlu, focuses on the significant oeuvre of German artist Heinz Mack, who is notably among the founders of the mid-20th century avant-garde art network, the ZERO movement. The exhibition, encompassing the artist's formative earlier works that informed the revolutionary philosophy of the ZERO movement, brings together paintings, monumental sculptures and kinetic works produced throughout the artist’s long career. 

Regarding light as an infinite source of life and pursuing it with unshaken determination has been both a personal approach and an influential artistic strategy for the pioneering artist of German modernism, Heinz Mack. After spending the years of his youth amidst the cold desolation left by the Second World War in Germany, Mack shaped his art around light, which throughout history and geographies has been the harbinger of a new day and opportunities yet unexplored. Like an avid explorer, Mack has tirelessly sought light and all the colours it reflects, through works covering a broad spectrum that encompasses paintings, sculptures, installations  and reliefs. East and West, civilisation and nature, light and darkness merge poetically in the artist’s quest for absolute beauty.

Heinz Mack investigates ways to attain future universal harmony through works that aim to transform and change human perception and emotions, just as they shaped the building blocks of the international art group ZERO, which the artist co-founded in 1957. The all-encompassing, defining and transforming power of light is at the heart of a body of work that he has created with unparalleled discipline and dedication over the years.

When Mack concluded the works and activities within the ZERO framework in 1967, the artist continued to work intensively as an independent philosopher and artist. His investigative approach to his work began within the Western tradition in which he was born, but went on to draw its strength from his desire to understand traditional Eastern knowledge and its intellectual principles. Within Mack’s oeuvre, in which the artist travels to regions where the natural expression of light is in its most powerful form, ranging from the North Pole to the Sahara Desert, light often becomes both the material as well as the work itself.

Today, Heinz Mack is at the peak of a prolific artistic career in which he has produced works ranging from the revolutionary echoes of the ZERO movement that set out to change the world, to monumental works that straddle continents, and from kinetic sculptures to canvases that embrace all the colours discernible by the human eye.  Realized under the curatorship of S.U. Sakıp Sabancı Museum Director Dr. Nazan Ölçer and art historian and former Exhibitions Secretary of the Royal Academy of Arts, London, Sir Norman Rosenthal, the exhibition notably marks the 85th birthday and 60th year of Heinz Mack’s career with a series of exhibitions taking place in the Far East, Europe and Turkey. 

Heinz Mack’s first solo exhibition in Istanbul, where the civilisations of East and West have bequeathed a priceless heritage over thousands of years, will be accompanied by a rich program of conferences, education programs, workshops, as well as a comprehensive exhibition catalogue suitable for both scholars and the general public. With the invaluable support of Tahincioğlu, ‘MACK. Just Light and Colour’ is meeting art enthusiasts at the S.U. Sakıp Sabancı Museum galleries on February 18, 2016.

Heinz Mack (1931 -) The Sky Over Nine Columns, 2012-2014 850.000 tessarae (mosaic stones, 24 ct. gold leaf) on a construction of composite and platform in steel Private Collection, Courtesy of Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art Photo: Murat Germen

Heinz Mack (1931 -) Große Farbspirale / Large Colour Spiral, 2000 Acrylic on wood 155 × 180 × 13 cm

Heinz Mack (1931 -) Ohne Titel (Chromatische Konstellation) / Untitled (Chromatic Constellation), 2015 Acrylic on canvas 212 × 235 cm

Heinz Mack (1931 -) Aufsteigender Rhythmus im Raum / Ascending Rhythm in Space, 2001 Polished brass 306 × 5 × 5 cm

Heinz Mack (1931 -) Wasser-Kreuz im Sand / Water Cross in Sand, 1972 Plexiglass, coloured liquid, sand min. 5 × 5 m

Heinz Mack (1931 -) Ohne Titel / Untitled, 2015 Ink on handmade paper 76 × 112 cm

Heinz Mack (1931 -) Goldener Kubus / Golden Cube, 1968 Brass, wood 100 × 90 × 90 cm Plinth of beech, blackened with flame 48 × 40 × 41 cm

Heinz Mack (1931 -) Projekt für einen Tanzpavillion / Project for a Dance Pavilion, 1960 (modified in 1997) Plexiglass, aluminum, electrical accessories H: 40 cm, O 60 cm

Heinz Mack (1931 -) Space-Corner, 1980-1992/2004 Wood, Fresnel lens, plexiglass, electrical accessories 48 × 70.5 × 42 cm

Heinz Mack (1931 -) Ohne Titel / Untitled, 2011 Polished marble 50 × 36.5 × 15.5 cm

Heinz Mack (1931 -) Ohne Titel / Untitled, 1997 Ceramic sculpture, glazed 70 × 22.5 × 5.8 cm

Heinz Mack, 2011. Photo: Reginald Weiss

The artists hands, 2015. Photo: Archive Heinz Mack

Heinz Mack’s studio in Huppertzhof, Mönchengladbach Photo: Archive Heinz Mack

Heinz Mack in his studio in Ibiza, 2015. Photo: Archive Heinz Mack

Heinz Mack’s studio in Ibiza, 2015. Photo: Archive Heinz Mack