Otto Piene was born in 1928 in Bad Laasphe, Germany. From 1949 to 1953 he studied painting and art education at the Academy of Arts in Munich, followed by a philosophy degree in Cologne. In response to the gloomy post-war art, Otto Piene and Heinz Mack founded the avant-garde group ZERO in the spring of 1957, whose predominant idea was a new beginning in art involving the elements of light, movement, wind, fire, air and energy - at this time he created his first grid-paintings. By pushing pure pigments through a sieve, the artist created a mechanical pattern that vibrates on the retina and releases the light energy of the pigment. Piene also explored other techniques to "liberate light," for example by burning candles through stencils that left traces of soot. By erasing his personal touch in these works, Piene separated from gestural painting, for him it was not the manuscript of the artist, but the experience of the viewer, which defines the artwork. As a pioneer of multimedia art, Piene worked early on with light and movement.
For his light sculptures Lichtbalette (since 1958), the artist used various forms, such as cubes or spheres, from which light is projected onto the surrounding walls through grid surfaces. Piene also emphasized the dialogical character of his art in his light installations. His installations are defined by the locations, by use, staging. Finally, in old age, Piene transferred the idea of the grid-paintins to clay and ceramic works, he used special glazes to further extend the possibilities of light reflection. Piene’s great painterly works refer to his big SkyArt projects, which he developed in Boston from 1968 on until his unexpected death in Berlin in 2014.
In addition to oil, fire and smoke pictures, light reliefs, clay-works there will also the light installation Pirouetten 2012/14 to be seen in the exhibition.
Selection of international exhibitions: Black & White. Painting from Dürer to Eliasson, Museum Kunstpalast, Dusseldorf, DL, 2018, Signal - Light Art from the Robert Simon Collection, Celle Art Museum, Celle, DL, 2017, Otto Piene, Sperone Westwater Gallery, NY, USA, 2016, Viehof Collection. International Contemporary Art, Deichtorhallen Hamburg, DL, 2016, Otto Piene - Light, Westfälisches Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte Münster, DL, 2015, Contemporary Art from Germany, Museum of Art Ein Harod, Ein Harod, Isreal, Zero The International Art Movement Der 1950s and 60s, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, DL, 2015, Otto Piene - More Sky, New National Gallery, Berlin, DL, 2014, Otto Piene.
Graphics Drawings, Museum Kunstpalast, Dusseldorf, DL, 2013, Energy Field Otto Piene's 85th Birthday, ZKM, Karlsruhe, DL, 2013, Otto Piene, "Paintings / Ceramics / Light Ballets / Inflatables", The Mayor Gallery, London, UK, 2012, Otto Piene -Lichtballet, List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA, USA, 2011, Otto Piene, Celle Art Museum, Celle, Germany, 2001, Otto Piene - Konrav von Soest Prize, Westfälisches Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte Münster, DL, 1968, Otto Piene - Light and Smoke, Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, Germany, 1962 (...) Otto Piene's works can be found in over 200 museums and public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery, Berlin, the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Kunsthaus Zürich, the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Center George Pompidou, Paris, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Albertina, Vienna, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis;