OTTO PIENE "COMPOSITION 1" SCREENPRINT, 1969
Otto Piene (1928-2014) was a leading German artist who specialized in abstraction, kinetic and technology-based art.
Alongside Heinz Mack, he established the legendary artists group ZERO in 1957. The group sought to redefine art after WWII specifically rejecting many of tenants of Abstract Expressionism. If you are not familiar with ZERO, the number of major European artists associated with it is simply astonishing including Piero Manzoni, Yves Klein, Jean Tinguely, and Lucio Fontana to mention a few.
Over the last few years there has been a renewed commercial and institutional interest in these artists, notably the “ZERO: Countdown to Tomorrow, 1950‘s-60‘s”, at the Guggenheim Museum in 2014. Many of the aforementioned artists, particularly the Italians, have become exceptionally valuable.
As for Otto Piene, he is best known for his innovative signature Rauchbilder (smoke pictures), where he would apply solvent to pigmented paper and light it on fire. He would use the residual soot to develop images, using the traces of smoke and fire as elements in these works. He represented Germany at the Venice Biennale in both 1967 and 1971.
While many of Piene's work have a distinctive organic or 'destructive' aesthetic, some of his best work, like this dynamic screenprint, evoke the color, energy and optimism of color field painting. There is also the intersection of science and psychedelic subcultures of the 60’s - with its themes of spirituality, revelation, enlightenment, and sensory sensations.
Not surprisingly, Piene had an extended sojourn in the United States. His experimental and innovative works propelled him to become the first Fellow at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) from 1968-1971, ultimately becoming a Professor and then Director there by 1974.
Today, Piene works can be found in the permanent collections of many of the world's most prestigious museums including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, Stedelijk in Amsterdam, and the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo.
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Signed, dated, and inscribed épreuve d'artiste by the artist
Color screenprint on wove paper
Very good condition
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