ZERO foundation

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The ZERO foundation is a German cultural institute, established in December 2008, with support of Düsseldorf-based ZERO artists, Heinz Mack, Otto Piene and Günther Uecker, and Museum Kunst Palast. It is funded by the state capital Düsseldorf. The artists donated works as well as their archives from the ZERO period comprising photographs, correspondence, invitation cards, newspaper clippings and other documents. The initiative behind the new foundation was taken by Mattijs Visser, backed by Hans-Georg Lohe, Düsseldorf’s local government officer for culture [1]


  • Staff: Mattijs Visser (Founding Director), Dirk Pörschmann, Tiziana Caianiello, Hilke Hendriksen
  • Board of Directors: Friderike Bagel, Claus Gielisch, Harry Schmitz, Jürgen Wilhelm, Beat Wismer.
  • Academic Board of Advisors: Daniel Birnbaum (Chairman), Dieter Jung (artist), Stephan von Wiese, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Heike van den Valentyn, Peter Weibel.


Together with the Museum Kunst Palast, the foundation has important works from the following artists in its collection: Hermann Bartels, Pol Bury, Enrico Castellani, Lucio Fontana, Hermann Goepfert, Kuno Gonschior, Gerard von Graevenitz, Gotthard Graubner, Hans Haacke, Oskar Holweck, Akira Kanayama, Yves Klein, Walter Leblanc, Adolf Luther, Heinz Mack, Piero Manzoni, Almir Mavignier, Christian Megert, Sadamasa Motonaga, Saburo Murakami, Henk Peeters, Otto Piene, Uli Pohl, Arnulf Rainer, Hans Salentin, Jan Schoonhoven, Shozo Shimamoto, Jesus Rafael Soto, Daniel Spoerri, Atsuko Tanaka, Jean Tinguely, Günther Uecker, Jef Verheyen, Nanda Vigo and Herman de vries.

Past activities[edit]

ZERO in NY, Sperone Westwater, New York 2008
  • On the night of 4–5 October 2008, the foundation initiated a Sky Event by Otto Piene as part of Nuit Blanche. Staged on Place de Catalogne in Paris – not far from Gare Montparnasse –, Piene’s sky sculptures captivated thousands of spectators as they rose up into the night sky.[2]
  • November 6, 2008, the exhibition ZERO in New York opened at the gallery Sperone Westwater with a presentation of some 50 works by 21 artists. The concentrated cross-section of works from the ZERO era, spanning from 1958 to 1966, took on museum proportions with its juxtapositions, thematic ensembles and a light room. The exhibition has been nominated by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum NY as best gallery exhibition of the year 2008.[3]


  • ZERO - exhibition catalog of the most important travelling exhibition in America of Zero Group, edited by Heike van der Valentyn, with essays by Otto, Piene, Paulo Venencio Filho, Heinz-Norbert Jocks, Heike van den Valentyn, published by Museu Oscar Niemayer, Iberê Camargo Foundation & Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo and printed in São Paulo, Brazil, 2013, ISBN 978-85-60638-37-6.
  • ZERO in NY, exhibition catalog edited by Mattijs Visser, with essays by Yves Klein, Otto, Piene, Heinz Mack, Valerie Hillings, Catherine Millet, Heike van den Valentyn, published by the ZERO foundation/Sperone Westwater, New York/Düsseldorf 2008, ISBN 978-90-76979-73-1.
  • ZERO – Internationale Künstler-Avantgarde der 50er/60er Jahre, with essay from Bazon Brock, Tiziana Caianiello, Heinz-Norbert Jocks, Catherine Millet, Lóránd Hegyi, Valerie L. Hillings, Heike van den Valentyn, Atsuo Yamamoto, Mattijs Visser, published by Museum Kunst Palast/Hatje Cantz, Düsseldorf/Ostfildern 2006, ISBN 978-3-7757-1747-2.


  1. ^ "ZERO-Foundation gegründet". Glashause. Retrieved 2009-11-28. 
  2. ^ "Floatables d'Otto Piene". ARTENTION. Retrieved 2009-10-26. 
  3. ^ "ZERO, International Movement Surveyed in New York Exhibition". Berkshirefinearts. Retrieved 2009-10-26. 

External links[edit]