fire gouache on cardboard
80 x 100 cm (31 1/2 x 39 3/8 in.)
signed and dated lower right
In 1957, Otto Piene founded the artist group ZERO together with Heinz Mack. It was to be a countermovement to gestural art and the Informel, which was predominant at the time. ZERO replaced Abstract Expressionism with an artistic language that was reduced and controlled, and it put German art back into the international art world. In a consequent concern with light, movement and space, Piene from 1959 onwards created ballets of light and used smoke and fire in his works, which refer to the elementary energies of nature. He continued creating his smoke and fire pictures throughout his life, the traces of fire and smoke are crucial elements of his works.