24 Jan Otto Piene. Stars – National Museum, Wrocław, Poland
This is the first individual exhibition of Otto Piene in Poland.
Piene is a pioneering figure in multimedia and technology-based art. Known for his smoke and fire paintings and environmental “sky art,” Piene formed the influential Düsseldorf-based Group Zero with Heinz Mack in the late 1950s. Zero included artists such as Piero Manzoni, Yves Klein, Jean Tinguely, and Lucio Fontana. Piene was the first fellow of the MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS) in 1968, succeeding its founder György Kepes as director until retiring in 1994.
His famous aerial sculptures “Long Stars” (2014) and the light installation “Prague Space of Light” (2002/2017) are on the display.
Piene abandoned traditional painting to create works of light, fire and movement.
He collaborated with scientists and engineers and used the latest technologies in his work.
“Langen Stars” are sculptures that, when inflated or deflated, rise and fall, moving in a mesmerising rhythm.
They give the impression of almost living creatures that attract the recipient, encouraging interaction.
The installation “Light Room Praque” consists of luminous points and shapes emerging from the darkness, rotating and moving in all directions. Fleeting light effects circulate in intricate orbits, arousing fear, curiosity and fascination at the same time.
I found the exhibition fascinating, the more exhibitions like this I see the more I am fascinated by the use of light in instalations like this.