Research Fellowship · 2022

Nick Böhnke: Penetrations of Space

Günther Uecker, from: Bildrituale – Entwicklung eines Werkes (Fotoumwandlungen), 1981. Günther Uecker © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2022

In his research project Penetrations of Space, Nick Böhnke deals with the works of Günther Uecker that are among his earliest pictorial inventions, the Finger Paintings (1956), in the wake of which his “painterly reliefs” were created (1958). Böhnke observes how, at the end of the 1950s, the artist did not yet drive nails, now a hallmark of his oeuvre, into the canvas. Rather, he used the heads of the nails and his fingers to create furrows through impasto layers of oil paint, repeatedly scraping lines and grids from the picture supports and, thus, creating haptic structures that can be experienced tactilely. With his investigation, Böhnke focuses on a central aspect of Uecker’s work: painting as a multidimensional action with a specific spatial disposition.

Nick Böhnke

Nick Böhnke, born 1985 in Schwerin, holds a doctorate in art history. He completed his bachelor’s degree in art history and European ethnology/folklore at Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel in 2012, where he also received his master’s degree in 2015. In 2019, he received his doctorate in art history in that university’s Department of Philosophy with his thesis Nam June Paik: Pioneer of Action Art.

Nick Böhnke’s investigation for Volume 3 of Notes on Uecker,, entitled Penetrations of Space: Reflections on Iconic Formal Processes in the Ground of Günther Uecker’s Painterly Reliefs of the Late 1950s expands the concept of ‘action’.