23 April until 17 July 2022
Collateral Event of the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia
Already 52 years ago, Heinz Mack, who is one of the most important representatives of kinetic
art worldwide, represented Germany at the 35th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di
Venezia. In 2014, the artist of ZERO group, who developed his own language in light art in the
1950s, was on display parallel to the Biennale Architettura with his 7.5-meter-high installation
The Sky Over Nine Columns, consisting of nine golden, light-reflecting pillars, in front of the
Church of San Giorgio Maggiore. Now the German sculptor and painter, who turned 90 last year,
returns to Venice with an extensive solo exhibition within the section Collateral Events of the
Biennale Arte 2022.
From April 23 to July 17, 2022, the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana (Ministero della Cultura),
located directly on St. Mark's Square, will present the Collateral Event with the selected works
by the award-winning artist under the title "Heinz Mack - Vibration of Light / Vibrazione della
luce". The curator of the presentation in the "Sale Monumentali" is Manfred Möller.
The Collateral Event shows in an imposing spatial installation an impressive cross-section of
Mack’s oeuvre of the last 60 years: beside large-scale paintings, a group of partly rotating light
steles and a four-meter-high mirror sculpture, created especially for this exhibition, will be
In what is arguably one of Venice's most iconic venues, the historical significant Sala
Sansoviniana, accessible exclusively through the Museo Correr, Mack's works are set in an art-
historically impressive dialogue with wall and ceiling paintings by Titian, Tintoretto, and
Veronese. As a further highlight, a 3.40-meter high stainless-steel stele by the artist is positioned
in an inner courtyard of the Palazzo Reale, which adjoints the Biblioteca Marciana and is freely
accessible from both St. Mark's Square and the Giardini Reali.
Heinz Mack, who in 1957 together with Otto Piene founded the internationally influential and
until 1966 active ZERO group, which from 1961 on also included Günther Uecker, explores the
theme of light in his work. As a pioneer of Land Art, Mack already installed his experimental lightsteles and objects in pristine natural landscapes such as the Sahara and later in the Arctic with
the aim of exploring light in its purity as such.
Now, in the atmospheric splendour of the Biblioteca Marciana, seven outstanding works on
canvas, impressive for their size alone, as well as eight light-reflecting and partly rotating stelae
made of polished aluminium and stainless steel are on display. Through the principle of rotation,
which Heinz Mack also explores in his paintings, the light in the space is not only captured and
reflected holistically, but the objects themselves become dematerialized at times as well.
The exhibition focuses primarily on paintings in black, grey and white, in which the artist rather
deals with the theme of structure than colour. The show’s highlight is certainly the six-meter-
wide and three-and-a-half-meter-high painting entitled "The Garden of Eden."
Here the theme of light, which Mack has been rethinking repeatedly for over 60 years, culminates
in an overwhelming, multi-coloured and monumental colour field painting whose hypnotic effect
no viewer in the room can escape. With his imposing solo show, Heinz Mack makes the visitors
to the Biennale Arte 2022 aware of one thing above all: how essential light is for our existence
and the continuation of life on earth.
The entire conception of the exhibition goes back to an initiative by Dirk Geuer, Düsseldorf, and
was extensively supported by him.
A catalogue and a portfolio consisting of three new prints by the artist will accompany the