Otto Piene

(1928 in Bad Laasphe, Germany – 2014 in Berlin, Germany)

Otto Piene was a German kinetic artist and co-founder of the ZERO avant-garde group. A pioneer of media art, Piene worked with light and motion and, like his ZERO compatriot Henz Mach, refrained the post-war Expressionism. Piene claimed, ‘Light is my medium. Previously, paintings and sculptures seemed to glow. Now they do’. Piene is best known for his Sky Art projects. Born on April 18, 1928 in Bad Laasphe, Germany, he studied at the Academy of Art in Munich and the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and graduated in 1957 with a degree in philosophy from the University of Cologne. Piene served as a professor of Environmental Art at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1974 to 1994, and died on July 17, 2014 in Berlin, Germany at the age of 86. Today, his works can be found in numerous museum collections around the world, including The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.