Diagonale/Vertikale Struktur (Diagonal/Vertical Structure), , 1965

by Günther Uecker

acrylic,and sand on canvas laid down on wood,Nails
82 x 82 x 7 mm

With its intricate network of nails, Diagonale/Vertikale Struktur (Diagonal/VerticalStructure) is a refined example of Günther Uecker's most celebrated group of works, embodying the artist's spiritual influences and cultural politics. Throughout the 1950s, Uecker examined philosophies whose main tenets advocated simplicity and purity, including Buddhism, Taoism, and Islam. His fascination with purification rites, such as the Gregorian chant, led him to engage in his own rituals of repetition, and he began hammering nails for extended periods of time. By 1957, he had begun to integrate nails into the surface of his canvases, creating relief patterns that produce a vibratory effect as the play of light and shadow changes according to the work's environment and the viewer's position within it.