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Otto Piene and his love of light on show in Berlin

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Otto Piene and his love of light on show in Berlin

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A major installation by key avant-garde artist ==Otto Piene= has gone on show in Berlin coinciding with his death.

He died on the eve of the inauguration at the age of 86.

Consisting of seven projectors showing more than 1,000 hand-painted slides, 'Proliferation of the Sun' was first shown in New York in the late Sixties.

Almost all of the artist’s works relate to light – a fascination he said started during World War Two when everything went dark during Allied air raids: “Without light we can’t live, we can’t work, we can’t eat or drink,” said the artist.

“It’s our fuel and our nutrient – without light we die. That’s the way it is for animals and that’s the way it is for humans. And besides, light is one of the most beautiful phenomenon in the cosmos, in life, in the world,” he added.

Born in 1928 in a small town in Western Germany, Otto Piene studied art in Munich and Cologne before moving to the US in the Sixties.

As a co-founder of the international ==Zero movement=, he played a crucial role in the redefinition of classical forms of art including painting and sculpture. He moved back to Germany in the late Nineties.

“I don’t know if I was born as an international figure but my life took a truly international turn,” he said looking back at his life. “And that’s a good thing. We should all be international. Our obsession with the concept of nation never brought anything good. The best thing that nations have brought us is the Football World Cup – that’s the only positive thing,” he concluded with a smile.

‘The Proliferation of Light’ is on show at Berlin’s Neue Nationalgalerie in conjunction with another Otto Piene show at the Deutsche Bank Kunsthalle featuring sculptures and paintings by the artist. Both run until the end of August.

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