Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Entertainment
Classified Sites

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

German artist Otto Piene, who combined art and science in giant sculptures, dies at 86

FILE - In this July 15, 2014 file photo media people attend the multimedia performance

Enlarge Image

FILE - In this July 15, 2014 file photo media people attend the multimedia performance "The proliferation of the sun" of German artist Otto Piene, in Berlin, Germany. Piene, known for his colorful paintings and gigantic open-air sculptures, has died at age 86. Piene died Thursday, July 17, 2014, shortly after the opening of this exhibition of his work at Berlin's Neue Nationalgalerie. (AP Photo/dpa, Soeren Stache, File)

BERLIN - German artist Otto Piene, known for his colorful paintings and gigantic open-air sculptures, has died at age 86.

Piene died suddenly on Thursday, shortly after the opening of his exhibition "More Sky" at Berlin's Neue Nationalgalerie museum. His death was confirmed Friday by Markus Farr, a spokesman for the group Friends of the Neue Nationalgalerie that helped organized the exhibit.

Germany's Minister for Culture Monika Gruetters called Piene one of the last great founding fathers of postwar modern art.

"Many of his highly esthetic works in public space were also a signal against the inhospitality of our cities," Gruetters said in a statement. "By making light and movement a topic of many of his objects and installations, he pointed out new ways for the fine arts."

Piene was born 1928 in Bad Laasphe in western Germany and studied at the academies of fine arts in Munich and Duesseldorf. Together with fellow artist Heinz Mack he founded the influential European post-war movement Group Zero in 1957. They tried to break the traditional boundaries of the fine arts by experimenting with light, air, movement, fire and metal.

In 1974 Piene was appointed director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Center for Advanced Visual Studies. He retired in 1993.

His work has been exhibited in more than 100 galleries and museums worldwide and was shown at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games.

Piene had been making final preparations for Saturday's Sky Art Event — an open-air performance at the museum with inflatable, illuminated plastic sculptures.

"In accordance with the wishes of the artist's family the Sky Art Event will take place" as planned, Farr said.

The German news agency dpa said Piene's body would be buried in the United States, where Piene had lived for many years in Groton, near Boston.

Piene is survived by his wife and children, Farr said.

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
The First World War at 100
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media