Skip to main content

APPEARANCE OF LIGHT

A POST-WAR PERSPECTIVE

-

In the exhibition Appearance of Light – a Post-War Perspective, Galerie Dierking, on the Paradeplatz in Zurich, presents works by Hermann Goepfert and Christian Megert together with experimental photographs by Kilian Breier, Peter Keetman, Ferry Radax and Otto Steinert, illustrating avant-garde trends of new pictorial aesthetics in various media after 1950.

Light is form

The credo of Hermann Goepfert (1926-1982)

"Light is form", was the credo of Hermann Goepfert (1926-1982), who aimed to render visible the aesthetic quality of light – particularly of natural light – through preformed instruments. 

During the 1950s, Goepfert, who lived in Frankfurt am Main, had begun to reduce the use of colour in his works, ultimately creating pure white grounds with small convexities in order to illustrate real light as reflection. He then replaced the three-dimensional painted structures with metal insertions, later also exchanging the canvas for metal. His kinetic aluminium reflectors were designed to intercept and reproduce the light in the room. 

Similarly, the light art of Christian Megert (b 1936 in Bern) is brought alive by interaction with its surroundings. In 1961, the artist – well-known for his mirror objects – formulated in his manifesto a new space his lasting artistic intention of creating "a space without beginning or end". Like Goepfert and other contemporaries, from the mid-1950s Megert created material and structural images. In 1959 he began incorporating mirrors in order to give his reliefs more depth. A member of the European ZERO group, in the 1960s he created some environments, including his famous mirror room for documenta 4, and his ZERO room, which he had originally intended for an exhibition in 1963 in the Frankfurt Galerie d, which also represented Hermann Goepfert. From the mid-1960s, Megert combined mirrors with fluorescent tubes and engines to make lumino-kinetic object boxes that produce an illusionist spatial effect.

Photographers Kilian Breier, Peter Keetman, Ferry Radax and Otto Steinert also wished to return to the "zero point" of design, and were constantly in search of new, specific photographic resources. In its properties, the material should speak for itself, exposing the designer's intervention. At the end of the 1950s, the new photographic works gave rise to links with other artists from concrete art. In 1960, Kilian Breier was invited by Otto Piene and Heinz Mack to participate in the catalogue of the ZERO group for the ZERO 3 exhibition in Milan.

"What we want is to break conservatism, to offer something new and convincing, to open people's eyes. I'm definitely anything but a fanatic, but we don't want any lacklustre affair under our new name", announced Peter Keetman (1916-2005), who founded fotoform in 1949 with Otto Steinert (1915-1978) and other photographers. Although their innovative union lasted only from 1949 until 1952, it had a significant influence on post-War photography. 

In the quest for the fundamentals of design in the laboratory, the photographic object, the motif, became increasingly superfluous. In 1951, 1954 and 1958, Otto Steinert organised the exhibitions subjektive fotografie I-III. In dark-room experiments and through subsequent alteration of the negative – "solarisation" – Steinert tested new possibilities. From 1959, as a teacher at the Folkwang School in Essen, he  passed on his findings. On Steinert's death in 1978, his students included photo artists such as Dirk Reinartz and Andreas Gursky.

Light and aspiration to innovation – these are the connecting elements in this exhibition, which opens on 10 June in the gallery premises on the Paradeplatz. Displayed on two floors is a new and fascinating combination of early oil paintings, reflectors and lumino-kinetic object boxes by Hermann Goepfert and Christian Megert, together with works by distinguished representatives of experimental photography.

APPEARANCE OF LIGHT

A POST-WAR PERSPECTIVE

-

Light is form

The credo of Hermann Goepfert (1926-1982)

In the exhibition Appearance of Light – a Post-War Perspective, Galerie Dierking, on the Paradeplatz in Zurich, presents works by Hermann Goepfert and Christian Megert together with experimental photographs by Kilian Breier, Peter Keetman, Ferry Radax and Otto Steinert, illustrating avant-garde trends of new pictorial aesthetics in various media after 1950.

"Light is form", was the credo of Hermann Goepfert (1926-1982), who aimed to render visible the aesthetic quality of light – particularly of natural light – through preformed instruments. 

During the 1950s, Goepfert, who lived in Frankfurt am Main, had begun to reduce the use of colour in his works, ultimately creating pure white grounds with small convexities in order to illustrate real light as reflection. He then replaced the three-dimensional painted structures with metal insertions, later also exchanging the canvas for metal. His kinetic aluminium reflectors were designed to intercept and reproduce the light in the room. 

Similarly, the light art of Christian Megert (b 1936 in Bern) is brought alive by interaction with its surroundings. In 1961, the artist – well-known for his mirror objects – formulated in his manifesto a new space his lasting artistic intention of creating "a space without beginning or end". Like Goepfert and other contemporaries, from the mid-1950s Megert created material and structural images. In 1959 he began incorporating mirrors in order to give his reliefs more depth. A member of the European ZERO group, in the 1960s he created some environments, including his famous mirror room for documenta 4, and his ZERO room, which he had originally intended for an exhibition in 1963 in the Frankfurt Galerie d, which also represented Hermann Goepfert. From the mid-1960s, Megert combined mirrors with fluorescent tubes and engines to make lumino-kinetic object boxes that produce an illusionist spatial effect.

Photographers Kilian Breier, Peter Keetman, Ferry Radax and Otto Steinert also wished to return to the "zero point" of design, and were constantly in search of new, specific photographic resources. In its properties, the material should speak for itself, exposing the designer's intervention. At the end of the 1950s, the new photographic works gave rise to links with other artists from concrete art. In 1960, Kilian Breier was invited by Otto Piene and Heinz Mack to participate in the catalogue of the ZERO group for the ZERO 3 exhibition in Milan.

"What we want is to break conservatism, to offer something new and convincing, to open people's eyes. I'm definitely anything but a fanatic, but we don't want any lacklustre affair under our new name", announced Peter Keetman (1916-2005), who founded fotoform in 1949 with Otto Steinert (1915-1978) and other photographers. Although their innovative union lasted only from 1949 until 1952, it had a significant influence on post-War photography. 

In the quest for the fundamentals of design in the laboratory, the photographic object, the motif, became increasingly superfluous. In 1951, 1954 and 1958, Otto Steinert organised the exhibitions subjektive fotografie I-III. In dark-room experiments and through subsequent alteration of the negative – "solarisation" – Steinert tested new possibilities. From 1959, as a teacher at the Folkwang School in Essen, he  passed on his findings. On Steinert's death in 1978, his students included photo artists such as Dirk Reinartz and Andreas Gursky.

Light and aspiration to innovation – these are the connecting elements in this exhibition, which opens on 10 June in the gallery premises on the Paradeplatz. Displayed on two floors is a new and fascinating combination of early oil paintings, reflectors and lumino-kinetic object boxes by Hermann Goepfert and Christian Megert, together with works by distinguished representatives of experimental photography.

show more show less
ARCHIVE

15. Dec 2021 -

Presence

Per Kesselmar & Sculptures from India and Southeast Asia

MORE

17. Sep -

Works by Christiane Löhr & Louis Soutter
MORE

31. Mar -

Sign O’ the Times

Lucio Fontana, Hermann Goepfert, Jef Verheyen

MORE

11. Sep 2020 -

Otto Boll

Found objects / Viewing tools

MORE

01. Jul -

Imre Kocsis - concrete

Greetings to Tatlin

MORE

04. Dec 2019 -

Black / White

Peter Royen meets...

MORE

24. Oct -

African and Oceanic Art
MORE

21. Nov -

Cologne Fine Art & Design 2019
MORE

27. Aug -

Yuji Takeoka
MORE

15. May -

Banfora Figure

Yuji Takeoka, Günter Umberg, Jef Verheyen

MORE

12. Mar -

VARIATIONS | with preference towards white

Zürich

MORE

11. Apr -

Art Cologne 2019
MORE

10. Dec 2018 -

PER KESSELMAR - paintings | OTTO BOLL - sculptures

Zurich

MORE

22. Nov -

Cologne Fine Art 2018

Cologne

MORE

10. Sep -

Belgian Avantgarde 1960's | 70's - Part I

Zurich

MORE

01. Jun -

Summer Show - Accrochage 2018
MORE

23. Mar -

African Art & Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

Zurich

MORE

21. Feb -

Karl Prantl - Meditation

Zurich

MORE

19. Apr -

Art Cologne 2018

Cologne

MORE

05. Dec 2017 -

From Africa to the South Seas and Europe

Zurich

MORE

23. Nov -

Cologne Fine Art 2017

Cologne

MORE

29. Sep -

A Tribute to the Responsive Eye - Wolfgang Ludwig & Walter Leblanc

Zurich

MORE

14. Sep -

art berlin 2017

Berlin

MORE

13. Jun -

GE-MEN-GE-LA-GE | Africa, Bischoffshausen, Boll, Fontana, Goepfert, Girke, Kricke, Prantl, Rainer, South America, Verheyen

Zurich

MORE

19. May -

Hermann Goepfert - Painterly

Zurich

MORE

05. Jun -

Lucio Fontana - Ceramics

Zurich

MORE

26. Apr -

Art Cologne 2017

Cologne

MORE

14. Mar -

Raimund Girke - Touched in White

Zurich

MORE

01. Dec 2016 -

Norbert Kricke - Movement and Space

Zurich

MORE

17. Nov -

Cologne Fine Art 2016

Cologne

MORE

25. Aug -

André Derain – Tête-à-Tête

Zurich

MORE

01. May -

Avantgarde - Collected early on

Zurich

MORE

03. Feb -

White and Monochrome - Ferdinand Spindel

Zurich

MORE

08. Dec 2015 -

In Space - Works by Otto Boll

Zurich

MORE

24. Jan -

BRAFA 2016

Brussels

MORE

13. Oct -

There from the very Beginning!

Hans Salentin – Early Relief-Works from the ZERO Period

MORE

18. Nov -

Cologne Fine Art 2015

Cologne

MORE

28. Oct -

Highlights International Art Fair Munich 2015

Munich

MORE

01. Jul -

Objets of Beauty from Oceania

Zurich

MORE

01. Mar -

Goepfert and Zero

Light as Vision

MORE

16. Apr -

Art Cologne 2015

Cologne

MORE

02. Dec 2014 -

Jef Verheyen

Color, Light & Vision - Works of the 50's and 60's

MORE

18. Nov -

Cologne Fine Art 2014

Cologne

MORE

01. Sep -

The Art of Southeastern Nigeria

Zurich

MORE

01. Jun -

Africa, Bischoffshausen, Erben, Girke, Goepfert, Ludwig, ROTAR, South Sea

Zurich

MORE

01. May -

Modern America

20th Century Design

MORE

01. Feb -

West Africa | Rare, Unfamiliar, Masterful

Sculptures and Masks: From the Ivory Coast to Cameroon

MORE

10. Apr -

Art Cologne 2014

Cologne

MORE

28. Nov 2013 -

Hans Bischoffshausen

Zurich

MORE

20. Nov -

Cologne Fine Art 2013

Cologne

MORE

25. Aug -

ROTAR

Drawings & Tribal Art from Africa, Oceania and the Americas

MORE

01. May -

Magic of Shape

Zurich

MORE

21. Nov -

Cologne Fine Art 2012

Cologne

MORE
show more show less
15. Dec 2021 -
Presence

Per Kesselmar & Sculptures from India and Southeast Asia

MORE

17. Sep -
Works by Christiane Löhr & Louis Soutter
MORE

31. Mar -
Sign O’ the Times

Lucio Fontana, Hermann Goepfert, Jef Verheyen

MORE

11. Sep 2020 -
Otto Boll

Found objects / Viewing tools

MORE

01. Jul -
Imre Kocsis - concrete

Greetings to Tatlin

MORE

04. Dec 2019 -
Black / White

Peter Royen meets...

MORE

24. Oct -
African and Oceanic Art
MORE

21. Nov -
Cologne Fine Art & Design 2019
MORE

27. Aug -
Yuji Takeoka
MORE

15. May -
Banfora Figure

Yuji Takeoka, Günter Umberg, Jef Verheyen

MORE

12. Mar -
VARIATIONS | with preference towards white

Zürich

MORE

11. Apr -
Art Cologne 2019
MORE

10. Dec 2018 -
PER KESSELMAR - paintings | OTTO BOLL - sculptures

Zurich

MORE

22. Nov -
Cologne Fine Art 2018

Cologne

MORE

10. Sep -
Belgian Avantgarde 1960's | 70's - Part I

Zurich

MORE

01. Jun -
Summer Show - Accrochage 2018
MORE

23. Mar -
African Art & Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

Zurich

MORE

21. Feb -
Karl Prantl - Meditation

Zurich

MORE

19. Apr -
Art Cologne 2018

Cologne

MORE

05. Dec 2017 -
From Africa to the South Seas and Europe

Zurich

MORE

23. Nov -
Cologne Fine Art 2017

Cologne

MORE

29. Sep -
A Tribute to the Responsive Eye - Wolfgang Ludwig & Walter Leblanc

Zurich

MORE

14. Sep -
art berlin 2017

Berlin

MORE

13. Jun -
GE-MEN-GE-LA-GE | Africa, Bischoffshausen, Boll, Fontana, Goepfert, Girke, Kricke, Prantl, Rainer, South America, Verheyen

Zurich

MORE

19. May -
Hermann Goepfert - Painterly

Zurich

MORE

05. Jun -
Lucio Fontana - Ceramics

Zurich

MORE

26. Apr -
Art Cologne 2017

Cologne

MORE

14. Mar -
Raimund Girke - Touched in White

Zurich

MORE

01. Dec 2016 -
Norbert Kricke - Movement and Space

Zurich

MORE

17. Nov -
Cologne Fine Art 2016

Cologne

MORE

25. Aug -
André Derain – Tête-à-Tête

Zurich

MORE

01. May -
Avantgarde - Collected early on

Zurich

MORE

03. Feb -
White and Monochrome - Ferdinand Spindel

Zurich

MORE

08. Dec 2015 -
In Space - Works by Otto Boll

Zurich

MORE

24. Jan -
BRAFA 2016

Brussels

MORE

13. Oct -
There from the very Beginning!

Hans Salentin – Early Relief-Works from the ZERO Period

MORE

18. Nov -
Cologne Fine Art 2015

Cologne

MORE

28. Oct -
Highlights International Art Fair Munich 2015

Munich

MORE

01. Jul -
Objets of Beauty from Oceania

Zurich

MORE

01. Mar -
Goepfert and Zero

Light as Vision

MORE

16. Apr -
Art Cologne 2015

Cologne

MORE

02. Dec 2014 -
Jef Verheyen

Color, Light & Vision - Works of the 50's and 60's

MORE

18. Nov -
Cologne Fine Art 2014

Cologne

MORE

01. Sep -
The Art of Southeastern Nigeria

Zurich

MORE

01. Jun -
Africa, Bischoffshausen, Erben, Girke, Goepfert, Ludwig, ROTAR, South Sea

Zurich

MORE

01. May -
Modern America

20th Century Design

MORE

01. Feb -
West Africa | Rare, Unfamiliar, Masterful

Sculptures and Masks: From the Ivory Coast to Cameroon

MORE

10. Apr -
Art Cologne 2014

Cologne

MORE

28. Nov 2013 -
Hans Bischoffshausen

Zurich

MORE

20. Nov -
Cologne Fine Art 2013

Cologne

MORE

25. Aug -
ROTAR

Drawings & Tribal Art from Africa, Oceania and the Americas

MORE

01. May -
Magic of Shape

Zurich

MORE

21. Nov -
Cologne Fine Art 2012

Cologne

MORE

DIERKING
GALERIE AM PARADEPLATZ
BLEICHERWEG 3
8001 ZURICH

Opening hours:
Wednesday - Friday
12 AM - 6 PM & by arrangement
15. January - 30. July 2022

T.: +41(0) 44 221 51 21
F.: +41(0) 44 221 07 61
officedierking.ch
www.dierking.ch


 
WE NEITHER USE NOR CHERISH
Twitter | Meta etc.


IMPRINT
© DIERKING 2022