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LGDR Partners
Image of Gunther Uecker's studio with nail paintings and hammer
Palm Beach
March 25 – April 14 2022

The artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery in Palm Beach exhibits new series of nail paintings, pushing his iconic reliefs further into a new realm. Günther Uecker: Shield will be on view through April 14, 2022.

To create his nail paintings, Uecker stretches canvas over thick panels of wood; extensively drawing and mark-making with paint and graphite to create a dense, visceral surface; then hammers nails into the panels, varying their placement, and groupings intuitively to form undulating painted reliefs that cast shadows in constant motion. Unified by pictorial composition and material presence, the nails project out into the viewer’s space, suggesting forces of growth and movement, unity and disruption, order and entropy.

The paintings draw on a foundation of repetitive and reparative actions that the artist has likened to meditation; the action of hammering a steady, sonorous, and tactile operation that functions in the same vein as a mantra or prayer. The process finds its roots in Uecker’s formative years in East Germany when he witnessed one totalitarian regime replace another in the wake of the Second World War. Uecker has talked about the trauma of this period, experienced both personally and collectively—giving birth to his longlasting preoccupation with violence and suffering, as well as spiritual fulfilment and joy. In creating this new series, Uecker reflects on the current state of the world and views these paintings as a poetic prayer of hope.

Shield

Pictures painted like shields

in seclusion

in the workshop

in Speechlessness—

The painting begins

where speech fails:

in the perception

of world and of violence;

in a chain of experiences,

interdependencies noted;

recognition of mutual

dependency amid shared danger

pictorially

As revolt,

in the mode of a call—

to pacify violence

and preserve life

–  Günther Uecker, 2022

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