Otto Piene

Life data
* 04-18-1928 | Laasphe
† 07-17-2014 | Berlin

Works by Otto Piene

Otto Piene

Born in Laasphe/Westphalia, Germany
Studied painting and art at Munich and Düsseldorf  Art Academies
Lecturer at the School of Fashion, Düsseldorf
Studies and graduates in philosophy at the Albertus-Magnus University in Cologne
Co-founder of the group "ZERO" together with Heinz Mack; First grid-paintings inspired by Yves Klein
Edition of the magazine "ZERO", together with Heinz Mack
"Lichtballette" (Light Ballets) and "Rauchbilder" (Smoke Paintings) exploring the elemental forces of nature
Experiments with multimedia combinations
Leading exponent of the so-called "Neuer Idealismus" movement, together with Guenther Uecker and Heinz Mack
Visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania
First solo exhibition in New York
Commissioned to supervise the artistic design for the opening and the closing ceremonies of the XX Olympic Games in Munich
Appointed Professor for Environmental Art at the University of Cambridge, Massachusetts
Appointed Director of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) in Cambridge/Ma. and Professor of Visual Design for Environmental Art
Participation at the "documenta 6" in Kassel
Chairman of the Advisory Council of the Minister for Science and Research of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia
Awarded honorary doctorate (Doctor of Fine Arts) by the University of Maryland BC
Awarded Sculpture Prize by the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York
Died in Berlin
Together with Heinz Mack, Otto Piene founded the internationally renowned artists' group ZERO in 1957, later to be joined by Guenther Uecker, which perceived itself as a response to the informal/gestural art (Art Informel) prevailing at the time. In contrast to Abstract Expressionism, ZERO is characterised by a reductive and controlled application of colour. From 1960 Otto Piene began an intensive exploration of the interplay of light, motion and space in which he transformed, blackened or even burned his canvases to fashion his so-called smoke and fire paintings, whose surfaces bore the destructive traces of the fire in the form of residues. Their beauty and expressive energy were reinforced by lyrical, associative titles.

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