Artwork of the month March

Heinz Mack, Black Rotor, 1965

Heinz Mack

* 1931 in Lollar, Hessen (DE), lives in Mönchengladbach (DE)

 Black Rotor, 1965

Plastic, aluminium, mirrors, wood, glass, motor, wooden plinth
153.4 × 153.6 × 34 cm

Wooden plinth 60 × 121 × 38.2 cm

Black Rotor, 1965, consists of a black wooden box on a plinth containing a rotating rotor behind a refractive corrugated plastic disk. The rotor is covered with little white polystyrene balls and little mirror elements which, by means of light inside the box and the movement of the rotor, seem to float weightlessly in a black square1. The two immaterial media, light and motion, transform the industrial plastic surface with its regular elevations and depressions into a constantly morphing, almost liquefying structure. A kind of vibrating "oscillation space" becomes apparent, constituted from the changing interplay of light and shadow, energy and rhythm. Mack himself speaks of the "immaterial manifestation of objects".

And indeed, Black Rotor makes deliberate reference to Marcel Duchamp's Rotoreliefs (Disques Optiques), 1935, in which Duchamp explored the perspective of the fourth dimension. Optical three-dimensional effects, triggered by the movement taking place in time, arise solely in the eye of the beholder.

Together with Otto Piene, Mack founded the group of artists known as ZERO in Düsseldorf in 1958, with Günther Uecker joining shortly afterwards. The group had undertaken to work out "new answers to new questions" in the traditional art system, starting from scratch. Among other things, this involved composing works whose presence was geared to dynamics, light, space and time.

Integrating technical elements with the aim of keeping the works in perpetual motion was often a constitutive element of Heinz Mack's kinetic art. As he observed: "Beauty is in motion and exhibits the rest of unrest as form. The dynamic becomes form itself. [...]. Pure motion knows no relativity of limits and mass; without direction and without actuality, it remains with itself. That is its vibration, its breath, its freedom, its vitality, its metaphysics."

Denise Rigaud

<b>Heinz Mack, Black Rotor, 1965</b>
Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein highlights a work from the permanent collection each month throughout the year. Works from the collection of the Hilti Art Foundation are also included in this series on a regular basis.