By Paul Hobson
For this month's project, Director at Modern Art Oxford Paul Hobson takes inspiration from German artist Heinz Mack
‘Zero is silence. Zero is the beginning. Zero is round. Zero spins. Zero is the moon. The sun is Zero. Zero is white. The desert Zero. The sky above Zero. The night.' (excerpt from a 1963 poem by the Zero Group).
On 11 April 1957, two young German artists, Otto Piene and Heinz Mack, invited the public into their Dusseldorf studio and, in a series of one-evening exhibitions, proclaimed the zero hour of post-war art. It was a radical, iconoclastic act that gave birth to ZERO, an international network of like-minded artists who shared their aim to redefine art in the aftermath of World War II. The name ZERO was intended to herald a new artistic and historical era, an emancipation from traditional genres and principles of art.