Otto Piene was a great pioneer of international light art. Born in 1928 in Laasphe, he attended the art academies in Munich and Dusseldorf. In 1957, together with Heinz Mack, he founds the influential artist group ZERO, also joined by Guenther Uecker.
Piene begins experimenting with immaterial imaging such as light and shadow, air and fire. For his fire pictures, the artist sprays thick layers of car paint on paper and ignites them, causing the paint to blow. The result is works with a dramatic image effect and unmistakable surface character.
Also, the rainbow draws as an artistic motive through his entire work. In 1972, Piene projected a giant rainbow into the night sky for the closing ceremony of the Munich Olympics.
His productive collaboration with technicians and scientists opened up new perspectives on art that still influence artists such as Olafur Eliasson today. His works are represented in more than 200 museums and public collections around the world. Important prizes such as the World Cultural Council's "Leonardo da Vinci World Award of Arts" praise his work.
Otto Piene lived and worked until his death in 2014 in Dusseldorf, Cambridge and Groton, Massachusetts.
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