Born in Berlin in 1939 HP Zimmer was introduced early to art by his uncle, the collector Otto Ralfs. In 1956-57 Zimmer studied at the Kunsthochschule Hamburg under Prof. Kranz and Prof. Johannes Itten before changing to the "Kunstakademie" München.
The same year the painters HP Zimmer, Helmut Sturm and Heimrad Prem as well as the sculptor Lothar Fischer founded the group "SPUR". In 1958 the first "SPUR" manifest was published as well as the "SPUR" graphic portfolio with 12 etchings by the artists and texts by Asger Jorn, Hans Platschek and Conrad Westphal.
Between 1959 and 1962 "SPUR" became a member of the Internationale Situationniste (I.S.), a political-cultural movement of architects, film makers, artists and writers. In 1962 the group published the "SPUR"-book, in which the "SPUR" magazines volume 1-7 were printed. After projects in co-operation with the artist group "Wir" from Munich, the groups were joined under the name "Geflecht", which was closed at the time of the beginning student riots in 1968.
In 1963 three co-operative works came into existence, in which Zimmer participated: the "SPUR" building at the Biennale in Paris, the mural "Canal Crescendo" at the Palazzo Grassi in Venice and the painting of a cottage near Munich.
Travelling through Italy, HP Zimmer met with Enrico Baj, Jean Dubuffet, Emilio Vedova and Graham Sutherland. In 1967 the artist withdrew from all his groups and did not paint for a year. In 1973 he moved to Aschau at the Chiemgau.
In 1982 he received a call to the "Hochschule für Bildende Künste" in Braunschweig. In 1984 HP Zimmer's autobiography "Selbstgespräch" was published. In 1986 he founded the Institut für Dämonologische Ästhetik in Braunschweig.
HP Zimmer died from a brain tumour on 5 September 1992.