About the artist
Herbert Zangs was a German artist, best known for his handmade monochromatic works which demonstrated his commitment to an improvised, informal artistic process. Born on March 27, 1924 in Krefeld, Germany, he went on to study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Düsseldorf in the fall of 1945, just months after the end of World War II, and befriended fellow student Joseph Beuys. The tenuous climate in Germany in the first post-war months would greatly impact Zangs’ aesthetic: his Verweißungen series—collages and paintings entirely covered in ash white paint—resemble objects found in the rubble after the destruction of war. Notable examples from this series include Rechenstück (1978), a cardboard collage covered in tic-tac-toe shapes, and Knüpfung (1958), a repurposed pillow case knotted around rows of buttons. Zangs developed a reputation as an “enfant terrible” in the German art world much like his friend Beuys, and is considered a part of the Art Informel movement in his rejection of geometric abstraction for a more intuitive approach to art-making. He died on March 26, 2003 in Krefeld, Germany.