German artist, born at Wattenscheid in the Ruhr. Studied mural painting at the Folkwang School, Essen 1957-60. After visits to Norway and Greece, lived from 1960-4 in France. Painted abstract pictures. First one-man exhibition at the Galerie Le Portulan, Le Havre, 1963. Settled in Düsseldorf in 1964 and began to make three-dimensional polyester objects such as cylinders, poles, containers. Abandoned painting altogether in 1966; sought more direct ways of expressing reality. Began to use water as a material in 1968 and his own body for time-space-body actions as systematic primary demonstrations in 1969. These actions were recorded in series of photographs or on film. First film and video works 1970-1, his first 'Expansions' and drawings made by using suspended weights and gravity 1972. 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.632