• Otto Piene, Fleurs du Mal, 1969, mixed media. Installation view, Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg, 2012.

    “Otto Piene: Energy Fields”

    ZKM | Center for Art and Media
    Lorenzstraße 19
    January 25–April 1, 2013

    Curated by Philip Ziegler

    Legend has it that when the seventeen-year-old Otto Piene was discharged from his post as a gunner at the end of World War II, after extricating himself from some POW situations, he walked across Europe to get home. And that during that long, hungry pilgrimage, he saw a way to turn the fire and cacophony of combat into art—starting with the tabula rasa he would, in 1957, dub Group Zero. Now, the ZKM presents a special selection of works in celebration of the German-born artist’s eighty-fifth birthday, ranging from a 1959–60 raster painting to his 1969 inflatable Fleur du Mai to many drawings, ceramics, and other works dating right up to the present day. “Energy Fields” will offer a glimpse at the poetics of Piene’s simple wizardry, in which light seeping from punctured drums can bring a universe into a darkened room.