ZERO was a Düsseldorf artists' group founded by Heinz Mack and Otto Piene on 24 April 1958. Günther Uecker joined in 1961. Mack and Piene saw post-war art as "burdened with an excess of ballast". The artists were looking for a new beginning, a "zero hour" that would be unencumbered by the past. They wanted to counter the imposed drama of the Second World War and its horrors with a purer, more wholesome world, seeing in the alternative to the old art values they found represented in post-war Informel and Tachism a hopeful and idealistic view of life.
ZERO denoted a phase of silence and stillness, an in-between zone in which an old state passes into a new one. The members created a new purist aesthetic with their light-kinetic objects, which reach into and involve space with their light and kinetics, which in appearance can be placed between painting and sculpture. The group disbanded in 1966 after the artistic and biographical paths of its members had diverged.