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Saturday: 10am – 6pm
Fire gouache on paper, partially torn on cardboard
145,5 x 95 cm (57 1/2 x 94 1/4 in.)
signed, dated, titled lower left
With his abstract aesthetic and unorthodox mode of production, Piene's work demonstrates a decisive shift in the way canvas is treated and is pushed to its material limits beyond the application of paint. In a consistent exploration of the themes of light, movement, and space, Piene created light ballets beginning in 1959 with reference to elemental natural energies, using smoke and fire in particular in his works. The element of fire thus plays a central role in Otto Piene's artistic development and determines the appearance of his works to a great extent. Through a wide variety of manipulations, the artist stages a new vocabulary for his art. The creative process is decisively determined by the arbitrariness of the element fire. The smoke or fire paintings, literally created by burning the canvas, reflect Piene's interest in emphasizing pure color while still allowing for a varied spectrum of forms and structures. The results are works whose rough, fire-burned surfaces contrast with the bright colors of the monochrome canvases, representing a radical departure from Informel painting in both form and execution, and once again formulating the claim of a renewal of art.