German abstract sculptor, and formerly painter, who works mainly with polished aluminium to explore effects of light, reflections and movement. Born at Lollar. Lived in Krefeld, then moved in 1949 to Düsseldorf. Studied painting at Düsseldorf Academy 1950-3. Influenced early on by tachisme. Took a philosophy degree at Cologne University 1956, then began to work as art teacher and independent artist. Made monochrome paintings in white or black 1956-8, with a structure of parallel ridged lines, followed in 1958 by his first light reliefs and light cubes in polished aluminium. First one-man exhibition at the Galerie Schmela, Düsseldorf, 1957. Co-founder with Piene of the Zero group 1958-67 and collaborated with Piene, Uecker and others in various joint projects, installations, etc. Contacts with Klein and Tinguely from 1958, later with Manzoni, Fontana and other artists of Nouvelle Tendance. Began in 1959 to make motorised reliefs with rotating elements, and light columns. Lived in New York 1964-5. His environmental works include a project to place light columns in the Sahara, a light-and-movement room for the 1970 German Industrial Exhibition in Berlin, water sculptures and light screens. Lives in Düsseldorf.
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.459