The ZERO foundation is a German cultural institute, established in December 2008, with support of Düsseldorf-based ZERO artists, Heinz Mack, Otto Piene and Günther Uecker, and Museum Kunst Palast. It is funded by the state capital Düsseldorf. The artists donated works as well as their archives from the ZERO period comprising photographs, correspondence, invitation cards, newspaper clippings and other documents. The initiative behind the foundation was taken by Mattijs Visser. Founding Director 2009-2017, now: Mattijs Visser.
- Staff: Dr. Barbara Könches, director; Dr. Tiziana Caianiello, Katrin Lohe, Laura Weber, Thekla Zell.
- Board of Directors: Dr. Friderike Bagel, Claus Gielisch, Dr. Felix Krämer, Harry Schmitz, Professor Dr. Jürgen Wilhelm.
The ZERO foundation was established in 2008 by the Düsseldorf ZERO artists Heinz Mack, Otto Piene, and Günther Uecker together with the Museum Kunstpalast initiated by Mattijs Visser. The mission of the ZERO foundation is to preserve, present, study, and support the work of the international ZERO movement.
For this purpose the artists donated numerous works and their archives from the ZERO period, including important documents such as photographs, correspondence, posters, invitations, press articles, and magazines. Over the last few years additional works and documents of the international ZERO avantgarde have been collected and made available to the public and international scholars through the development of exhibition projects and publications. These efforts are not only focused on the ZERO period itself (1958-1966) but also on the continuing impact of ZERO into present. The archive and library of the ZERO foundation are available for research purposes.
A unique aspect of the ZERO foundation is that the living artists are actively involved in the work of the organization. First-hand information about the ZERO period can be passed on and integrated into scholarship on the movement.
Establishment of the ZERO foundation by Heinz Mack, Otto Piene, Günther Uecker, and the Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf
Mattijs Visser, first Director of the ZERO foundation
Event: Light and Darkness, organised by the ZERO foundation, including Robert Wilson, Olafur Eliasson, Daniel Birnbaum, Semir Zeki, and James Turrell
Exhibition: Jef Verheyen and friends, Langen Foundation, Neuss; curated by the ZERO foundation
Exhibition: nul = 0. Dutch avantgarde in an international context, 1961–1966, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, Netherlands; in cooperation with the ZERO foundation
Exhibition: ZERO auf Papier (ZERO on Paper), Leopold-Hoesch-Museum, Düren; organised by the ZERO foundation
Exhibition: ZERO Paris-Düsseldorf, Passage de Retz, Paris, France; organised by the ZERO foundation
Exhibition: ZERO in Gelsenkirchen 1963/2013 – Zurück in die Zukunft (ZERO in Gelsenkirchen 1963/2013 – Back to the Future), Kunstmuseum Gelsenkirchen; in cooperation with the ZERO foundation
Exhibition: ZERO – Zwischen Himmel und Erde (ZERO – Between Heaven and Earth), Zeppelin Museum, Friedrichshafen; in cooperation with the ZERO foundation
Exhibition: ZERO. Countdown to Tomorrow, 1950s-60s, Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA; in cooperation with the ZERO foundation
Exhibition: ZERO. Die internationale Bewegung der 50er und 60er Jahre, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin; organised by the ZERO foundation
Exhibition: ZERO. Let us explore the stars, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands; in cooperation with the ZERO foundation
Exhibition: ZERO, Sakip Sabanci Museum, Istanbul, Turkey; curated by the ZERO foundation
Exhibition: ZERO und Nouveau Réalisme. Die Befragung der Wirklichkeit, Stiftung Ahlers Pro Arte, Hannover; curated by the ZERO foundation
Exhibition: ZERO group: Günther Uecker, Heinz Mack, Otto Piene, Multi Media Museum, Moscow, Russia; organised by the ZERO foundation
Exhibition: ZERO ist gut für Dich, LVR LandesMuseum Bonn; organised by the ZERO foundation
Exhibition: Socle du Monde, Biennale Herning, Denmark; curated by the ZERO foundation
Dr. Barbara Könches is named new Director of the ZERO foundation
Commemoration for Otto Piene’s 90th birthday
The ZERO foundation moves into the former studio building of Heinz Mack, Otto Piene, Günther Uecker, and other ZERO artists
Exhibition: ZERO, Museum of Steel Art, Pohang, South Korea; curated by the ZERO foundation
ZERO 4321, the first publication of the ZERO foundation on artist magazines of the ZERO movement. Published by richter|fey Verlag, Düsseldorf. ISBN 978-3-9412-6346-8
ZERO. Die internationale Bewegung der 50er und 60er Jahre. Published by Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Köln. ISBN 978-3-86335-696-5
ZERO und Nouveau Réalisme. Die Befragung der Wirklichkeit. Published by Stiftung Ahlers Pro Arte, Hannover.
The Artist As Curator, Published by MER. Paper Kunsthalle, Ghent, Belgium. ISBN 978-94-9177-568-0