In 1957 Otto Piene and Heinz Mack formed Group Zero or Group O, in Düsseldorf. Often referred to simply as Zero the group was joined in 1960 by Gunther Uecker.
A number of other artists were associated or exhibited with Zero, most notably Yves Klein and Jean Tinguely. The name refers to the countdown for a rocket launch and according to the group is meant to evoke ‘a zone of silence [out of which develops] a new beginning’. Zero was in reaction against the subjective character of the prevailing Art Informel and practised a form of Kinetic art using light and motion that they felt opened up new forms of perception.
Three issues of a journal, Zero, were published, in April and October 1958 and July 1961. The group dissolved in 1966.
Kinetic art is something that feels new, like it has only been concepted in the last few years, but to see Ground Zero’s work is great, to see just how far back seemingly new ideas stem to. Its good to see that artists were playing with light,sound, visuals etc in the 50’s as well as trying to stretch the limits of convential materials like paint, chalks, and pastels.