A collaborative exhibition between the Nationalgalerie - Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle.
Few artists have dedicated themselves to experimental, genre-defying work as ardently as Otto Piene, one of the great artistic figures of the 20th century. As a cofounder of the international ZERO movement, by the 1960s he was already playing a crucial role in the redefinition of classical forms of art including painting and sculpture. His smoke pictures and fire paintings as well as his light installations and light ballets evoke a Romantic longing for harmony with nature, incorporating the elements of motion, light, time, and space into the work itself. After staging various projects in public places throughout Germany and the United States, Piene moved to the States at the end of the 1960s, where a number of further decisive opportunities awaited his artistic experimentation. Since the beginning of the 1970s, the artist has collaborated with technical engineers at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS, MIT, Boston) to develop a number of interdisciplinary projects and events. This work is distinguished by its placement in the public arena, its strong orientation towards process, and its ephemeral quality. It is through the transience of his projects that Piene reveals the breadth of his artistic vision, one that remains influential and relevant for current discourse on art today.
With three projects on display in the summer of 2014, the Nationalgalerie in Berlin and the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle intend to pay tribute to Otto Piene's continued experimentation. The focus of the exhibition is on his early artistic development in the 1960s and early 1970s.