b. 1935 Ulm, Germany
Herbert Oehm started his career as a billboard artist working in photorealism later going on to study in 1957 at the Kunstakademie, Munich, where he met Gerhard von Graevenitz- a co-founder of Nouvelle Tendance who introduced Oehm to the movement. Oehm participated in the 1961 exhibition of concrete and constructive art Nove tendencije in Zagreb, as well as working and exhibiting with the Group Zero in Germany.
Working with the Op art themes of the Nouvelle Tendance and the mathematical ideas of Concrete Oehm used a geometrical system of order, but also created a new concept of ‘concrete’ systems with random patterns. Using monochrome, hole patterns and a wide range of materials such as sand, salt, cellophane and teabags, with colour being the primary material to communicate with the viewer.
Oehm participated in the seminal exhibitions Dynamo 1 at Galerie Renate Boukes Wiesbaden in 1959 (along with Bury, Holweck, Mack, Mavignier, Piene Soto, Spoerri and Tinguely), at the New Tendencies in Zagreb 1961 and 1963 and, in 1967, he was featured for the first time by the Denise René Gallery.
Recently in 2015 he was included in the Guggenheim New York Zero retrospective ‘ZERO: Countdown to Tomorrow’.