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Otto Piene

German, 1928–2014

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Otto Piene

German, 1928–2014

1,448
Followers
Biography

A founder of the 1960s Dusseldorf-based Group Zero, Otto Piene is best known for his paintings made with smoke and fire. Called Rauchbilder (smoke pictures), Piene applied solvent to pigmented paper and lit it on fire, developing images in the residual soot. Piene also created outdoor “figures” made from smoke that floated overhead—what he coined as “Sky Art”—including Olympic Rainbow, a project created for the ill-fated 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. For nearly 20 years, Piene served as the director of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and in 2008, with Heinz Mack and Mattijs Visser, he co-founded the International ZERO Foundation to archive documents, projects, and images produced by the famous Dusseldorf collective.

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
Hamburger Bahnhof, and 1 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 4 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 2 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition, and 3 more
Biography

A founder of the 1960s Dusseldorf-based Group Zero, Otto Piene is best known for his paintings made with smoke and fire. Called Rauchbilder (smoke pictures), Piene applied solvent to pigmented paper and lit it on fire, developing images in the residual soot. Piene also created outdoor “figures” made from smoke that floated overhead—what he coined as “Sky Art”—including Olympic Rainbow, a project created for the ill-fated 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. For nearly 20 years, Piene served as the director of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and in 2008, with Heinz Mack and Mattijs Visser, he co-founded the International ZERO Foundation to archive documents, projects, and images produced by the famous Dusseldorf collective.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
Hamburger Bahnhof, and 1 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 4 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 2 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition, and 3 more
Articles Featuring Otto Piene
A London Show Reveals Lesser-Known Works by Group Zero Pioneers Heinz Mack, Otto Piene, and Günther Uecker
Jun 12th, 2015
A London Show Reveals Lesser-Known Works by Group Zero Pioneers Heinz Mack, Otto Piene, and Günther Uecker
ZERO, the 20th-Century Art Phenomenon You Didn’t Know About Until Now
Oct 23rd, 2014
ZERO, the 20th-Century Art Phenomenon You Didn’t Know About Until Now
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