Poesie der Destruktion198424 x 24 x 5 1/2 in. mixed media on canvas
Provenance Riva Yares Gallery, Scottsdale
Private Collection, Chicago, acquired from the above in 1985
Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, Chicago
Heritage Auctions, California, 24 May 2018, Lot 77046
Private Collection, California, acquired from the above
DescriptionGuenther Uecker and his avant-garde contemporaries experimented with monochromatic color, light, materiality, and repetition. For Uecker, this experimentation manifested in his noteworthy nail-covered canvases. The 1984 piece, Poesie der Destruktion – Poetry of Destruction – presents a tumultuous arrangement on a neat square background. The swarming bed of nails evokes a forceful action with violent connotations. Black and orange swaths of oil paint undulate on the rough surface beneath the exterior of hammered and bent metal. The composition suggests wreckage, yet it lives in the context of artistic creativity, urging the viewer to observe the coexistence of creative and destructive forces.