Günther Uecker was born in 1930 in Wendorf, Germany. He studied painting at the Kunsthochschule Berlin Weissensee from 1949 to 1953, and further pursued his artistic training in 1955 at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. Throughout the 1950s, Uecker cultivated a strong interest in repetitive practices and purification rituals, and became fascinated with the philosophies of Buddhism, Taoism, and Islam. He developed rituals of his own, including the lengthy, repetitive, meditative hammering of nails, and proceeded to translate this into his artistic practice. His nail-relief works exceed the limits of the two-dimensional plane and create a new realm for vision to explore the calculated patterns of light and shadow.