Gruppe SPUR

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Gruppe SPUR, 1960. Left to right Lothar Fischer, Heimrad Prem, HP Zimmer, Helmut Sturm. Photo: Christel Fischer. Source.

The foundation of the Gruppe SPUR followed a joint exhibition held in autumn 1957 in the Pavillon im Alten Botanischen Garten in Munich by the painters Heimrad Prem (1934-1978), Helmut Sturm (1932-2008), Hans-Peter Zimmer (1936-1992) and the sculptor Lothar Fischer (1933-2004). They devised the group's name in January 1958 when thinking about the tracks of their own footprints in the snow. Their shared goals related to their criticism of Art informel, which they regarded as devoid of content and too private.

In the 21 points of their first manifesto of November 1958 they rejected aestheticism, technique as an end in itself and abstraction in art. The members of Spur were encouraged and helped by Asger Jorn, who in 1959 introduced them to the Galerie Van de Loo in Munich, which thereafter exhibited and supported the group, as did the artist and art critic Hans Platschek. In 1959 Spur was accepted by the International Situationists in Paris, and in 1961 the group wrote their Januar-Manifest. The Bavarian Ministry of Culture refused to allow an exhibition by them in the Haus der Kunst in Munich. The periodical Spur ran from August 1960 to January 1962 (7 numbers).

In February 1962 they were expelled by the International Situationists, and in the same year there were two court hearings resulting in prison sentences for supposed blasphemy; later reduced on appeal. In 1965 they painted collaborative gouaches, and started to cooperate with the 'Wir' group, founded in Munich in 1959; in spring 1966 the two groups were amalgamated to form the 'Geflecht' group. (Source)

Spur journal[edit]

Spur. Organ der Situationistische Internationale was Gruppe SPUR's magazine published in 7 numbers between August 1960 and January 1962. The issue 6 was published in Drakabygget, Sweden.

Spur 1, Munich (Aug 1960).
PDF (42 mb).
Spur 2, Munich (Nov 1960).
PDF (33 mb).
Spur 3, Munich (Dec 1960).
PDF (44 mb).
Spur 4: "Die Verfolgung der Künstler", Munich (Feb 1961).
PDF (78 mb).
Spur 5: "Unitären Urbanismus", Munich (Jun 1961).
PDF (37 mb).
Spur 6: "Spur im Exil", Drakabygget, Sweden (Nov 1961).
PDF (47 mb).
Spur 7, Munich (Jan 1962).
PDF (44 mb).

The above PDFs were sourced from 84 GHz, HT Ellef.

  • reprint, SPUR-Buch. SPUR-Zeitschriften Nr.1-7, Munich: Gruppe SPUR, 1962. The reprint includes also 3 manifestos ("Manifest", 1958; "Avantgarde ist unerwünscht!", and "Januar-Manifest", 1961) and an introduction "Spur-Historie" by the Gruppe Spur.
  • reprint, in Gruppe SPUR, eds. Anne Birnie Danzker and Pia Dornacher, Ostfildern-Ruit: Hatje Cantz, 2006.


  • Gruppe SPUR, eds. Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker and Pia Dornacher, Ostfildern-Ruit: Hatje Cantz, 2006, 184+[228] pp. Exh. catalogue. Text by Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker, Diedrich Diederichsen, Pia Dornacher, Holger Liebs; manifests and texts by Lothar Fischer, Heinrad Prem, Helmut Sturm and HP Zimmer. (German)
  • Ilonka Czerny, Die Gruppe SPUR (1957-1965). Ein Künstlerphänomen zwischen Münchner Kunstszene und internationalem Anspruch, Münster: LIT Verlag, 2008, 362 pp. Dissertation. Review: Kunz (kunsttexte). (German)
  • Gruppe Spur Manifeste/Manifestos, eds. Matthias Muehling and Eva Huttenlauch, Edition Lenbachhaus, 2015, 172 pp. Review: Hampton (Art Monthly). (German)/(English)
  • more