Since the “ZEROplus” exhibition was featured at 401contemporary in Berlin in 2009, the gallery has dealt in greater depth with works from the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s and presented them in context with young 21st century artists. This intergenerational dialogue is our guiding principle.

This presentation is concerned, first and foremost, with the most important issues to Adolf Luther’s - the INTEGRATION OF LIGHT AND SPACE. This is manifested impressively in large room installations of concave mirror objects (for example, to mark the occasion of the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich).

Starting in the 1950s, Adolf Luther made a radical departure from the painted image with the goal of shifting light perception itself to the centre of the observer’s visual experience. Luther’s light art was a reaction to the crisis in the world of painting, as well as to the wavering image of reality brought about by technology and scientific innovation.

Luther began methodically to develop his concept of a new image of reality from painting. He essentially wanted to break away from the image in order to behold light free of all material support.

To experience the pure perception of light, dispatched from any form of material, was one of Lutherʼs main artistic ideas and is essential for his works of the 1960s to his late work. Being aware of the fact that light is always related to matter, Luther used materials such as glass - mirrors, lenses, coated and kinetically moved - to attain the highest possible approach to his ideal.

“By defining a space, a light-space by virtue of an energetic medium, Luther establishes a dynamic concept of space in art. In contrast to the rigid space found in perspective painting and in environmental art, Luther’s space is a flowing space continuum of various interconnected forces: a force field.”
(Klaus Honnef, 1971)