Ohne Titel. 1962. Oil, fire and smoke on canvas, relined. Verso signed and dated as well as inscribed "nach Doublierung neu signiert O.P. VII-18-86". 100.5 x 80 cm (39.5 x 31.4 in).
Lively and powerful fire picture from the best days of "ZERO".
PROVENANCE: Lempertz`sche Kunstversteigerung, Modern Art, Cologne, November 1983, lot 882. Private collection Southern Germany.
This fire picture was made in 1962 at the peak of the "ZERO" movement. The work is a remarkable document of a technical innovation with which Piene took his smoke pictures to another level: While smoke and soot are merely indirect witnesses to the primal force of the fire, still under the artist's control, the fire pictures originate directly from the element's force. Burning paint becomes incrusted, blisters, comes alive and forms and organic structure kept in the mystical perfection of the circle. Through the subtle treatment of the paint Piene opens up associative worlds: the glowing orange does not only call reminiscence of the sun, but also resembles two drops of dry blood or the human gamete - mysterious elementary power of life.