Ohne Titel. 1962. Oil, fire and smoke on canvas. Verso signed and dated, with an arrow indicating the direction on stretcher. 50 x 60 cm (19.6 x 23.6 in).
Lively and powerful fire picture from the best ZERO days.
PROVENANCE: Galerie Ad Libitum, Antwerp (verso with gallery label). Galerie Ursula Wendtorf & Franz Swetec, Dusseldorf.
This fire picture was made in 1962, the peak of the "ZERO" movement. This work is an impressive document of a technical innovation that allowed Piene to go one step beyond the possibilities his smoke pictures offered: While smoke and soot are sort of indirect witnesses to the elemental force fire, controllable through the artist's ratio, fire pictures come into being right through the raging element. Burning paint builds crusts, forms blisters, comes alive as an organic structure, all captured inside the mystical perfection of the circle. Through the subtle handling of the paint Piene is able to open up new associations: The glowing orange color makes the observer not only think of luminaries bursting with energy, but also of a drop of clotted bloth or the human germ cell - mysterious elemental force of life.