Günther Uecker was born in 1930 in Wendorf, in Pomerania, Germany. He grew up on the Wustrow Peninsula, where he experienced the end of the Second World War. In 1949 Uecker began studying painting in Wismar. He went from there to Berlin-Weißensee, and in 1955 to Düsseldorf, where he studied under Otto Pankok at the art academy. In the late 1950s he began making his first typical nail sculptures. In 1961 Uecker joined the artists’ group ZERO around Heinz Mack and Otto Piene, and experimented with kinetic light art. Together, in 1962 the artists installed their Salon de lumière in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, in the Palais des Beaux Arts in Paris, and subsequently in Frankfurt and Krefeld. In 1970 Uecker was one of the country’s representatives in the German Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. In the early 1970s he travelled in South America, Africa and Asia, and then from 1974 to 1995 taught as a professor at Düsseldorf’s art academy. In 1998 Uecker was commissioned to design the prayer room in the Reichstag building in Berlin. He has been honoured with the Goslar Kaiserring (1983), the Federal Republic’s Order of Merit (1985) and most recently the North Rhine-Westphalian state prize (2015). Uecker lives and works in Düsseldorf.