OTTO PIENE – „Ja, ich träume von einer besseren Welt – sollte ich von einer schlechteren träumen?“

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OTTO PIENE

Ja, ich träume von einer besseren Welt – sollte ich von einer schlechteren träumen?

(‘Yes, I dream of a better world – should I dream of a worse one?’)

Opening: September 6

Duration:  September 7 – October 28, 2023

As a reaction to the dark post-war art, Otto Piene founded the avant-garde group ZERO in the spring of 1957 together with Heinz Mack, whose guiding idea was an artistic new beginning with the elements of light, movement, wind, fire, air and energy – this was also the time when he created his first raster paintings. By pushing pure pigment through a sieve, the artist created a mechanical pattern that vibrated on the retina, releasing the pigment’s light energy. Piene also explored other techniques to “release light” by, for example, burning candles through stencils that left traces of soot. By erasing his personal touch in these works, Piene separated himself from gestural painting. For him, it was not the artist’s signature but the viewer’s experience that defined the artwork. A pioneer of multimedia art, Piene worked with light and movement early on. After joining the Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), first as a fellow (1968-74) and later as director (1974-94), the artist forged a new path, expanding his oeuvre in terms of materials, extent, collaboration, and participation. Piene’s major painterly works relate to his large SkyArt projects, which he developed in Boston beginning in 1968.

The exhibition is showing oil, fire and smoke paintings as well as gouaches and ceramic works.

“„Ja, ich träume von einer besseren Welt – sollte ich von einer schlechteren träumen?“  is the second exhibition of works by Otto Piene at Galerie Krinzinger, following Selected Works (1957- 2014), 2018. The exhibition features oil, fire and smoke paintings as well as gouaches and ceramic works. Piene used fire and smoke as “painting instruments.” In his fire paintings, he uses spray paint to spray a circle onto canvas primed with oil paint and then works it with fixatives to increase its combustibility. He ignites this area; by moving the canvas and blowing into the flame. Otto Piene’s screen ceramics follow the design principle of the early screen paintings. In this process, the metal screens, whose perforations are previously defined as screen points by drawing, do not rest directly on the surface, but are fixed at a certain distance from it. The glaze is pressed through the sieve.

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