Mack & Goethe: Taten des Lichts

Hatje Cantz

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Hardcover | 25.91 x 3.81 x 32.26 cm | 304 pp

Hatje Cantz | 2018 | 9783775744072

Text in English and German

“Colours are the deeds … of light.” This quote from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Theory of Colours supplied the title for a special, large exhibition at the Goethe Museum in Dusseldorf, as well as for the companion catalogue.

The show juxtaposed Goethe’s (1749–1832) world of ideas and the work by artist and Heinz Mack (b. 1931). Mack is best known for his contributions to op art, light art and kinetic art and was co-founder of the ZERO group.

Yet, what is it that connects the classical author to the avant-garde artist? Surprising parallels emerge, manifesting in the universality of the two artists’ interests and their orientation toward the future. Mack’s enthusiasm for the structures of organic and inorganic life encounters Goethe’s ideas on morphology, the theory of the formation and transmutation of organic bodies. Paintings inspired by the 'Far East' are affirmed by Goethe’s insight, “The Orient and the Occident can no longer be separated.”

Never-before-exhibited works by Mack meet rare Goethe exponents from the Dusseldorf museum, as well as loans from Weimar, Dresden, and Vienna.

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