Otto Piene - Homage to Fire and Light 23. April 2023 - 10. June 2023

About the exhibition

To the online work selection on artsy

Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie, Bielefeld, Germany, presents an extensive retrospective of the international ZERO artist Otto Piene from April 23 to June 13, 2023. With "Homage to Fire and Light", 50 outstanding works from six decades will be shown, which impressively show the artist's lifework.

The vernissage of the exhibition will take place on Sunday, April 23, 2023 at 11 a.m. with an introduction by Rouven Lotz, director of the Emil Schumacher Museum, Hagen. A catalog will be published to accompany the exhibition.

Together with Heinz Mack, Otto Piene founded the ZERO group and created elemental works with smoke, fire and light. He is considered a pioneer of his time. Already at the end of the 1950s, the first smoke drawings on paper were created by using candles as a design medium. From this idea, Piene developed the first of his famous fire pictures in the 1960s, combining smoke, fire, light and color to create significant works. In the comprehensive, retrospective exhibition "Otto Piene - Homage to Fire and Light," the Samuelis Baumgarte Gallery is dedicated to his diverse body of work with canvases, gouaches, sculptures, and ceramics. On display are more than fifty outstanding works by the pioneering artist.

Otto Piene, born in 1928 in Laasphe, Westphalia, studied painting and art education at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and at the Art Academy in Düsseldorf. In 1957, the ZERO group strove for a fundamental new beginning in painting - starting from the level of "zero". The rejection of conventional ways of thinking about art became the guiding principle of the group of artists. The use of new materials and techniques replaced the traditional tools of art through the use of fire, air, smoke and oil paint in Piene's works.

The stringent exploration of the themes of light, space, and movement is equally evident in his raster paintings, ceramics, and sculptures, with which Piene experimented from the 1950s onward. Piene also staged sky events drawn into the sky with his Inflatables, which also serve as models for some of the tempera gouaches shown in the exhibition. With his works, Piene had a decisive influence on the development of new art movements, such as media and performance art. Even during his lifetime, he was honored with awards and worldwide exhibitions in major museums and institutions. Piene died in Berlin in 2014 before the opening of his exhibition at the Neue Nationalgalerie.

Opening hours of the gallery

Monday - Friday from 10:00 - 18:00 h and Saturday from 10:00 - 14:00 h


Opening, Sunday, 23 April 2023 at 11 am

Invitation card to the Opening

Press information

Online Katalog


Otto Piene - Hommage an Feuer und Licht, Radio Bielefeld, 18.04.23

Bilder von großer Kraft, Neue Westfälische, 22.04.23

Der Feuer und Rauch-Maler, Westfalischen Blatt, 22.04.23

Stargast Neuer, Welt am Sonntag, 07.05.23

Kunst mit Herz, Top Magazin, 02 2023


Online Katalog

Past exhibitions