Honoring Otto Piene at Grand Palais, Paris

Conference and Monograph Presentation

By: - May 06, 2011


The new Otto Piene monograph, which was published by Ante Glibota at Delight Edition, Paris, was first presented at the end of March in Duesseldorf, Germany, at City Hall. The mayor of the city celebrated one of its most prominent citizens, who has maintained a studio in Duesseldorf since his early artistic years in the 1950s. Piene’s extensive career in the USA began in the mid 1960s and included countless exhibitions, public and sky art events, conferences and the 20 year long directorship of MIT’s highly regarded Center for Advanced Visual Studies.

Please read short biographies of Piene and Glibota below, which were submitted by Delight Edition.

Currently, an evening conference has been scheduled at the Grand Palais in Paris, with an installation and performance of Piene’s light ballet, 'Le Rouge et le Noir,' on May 17 at 6:30 pm. It will be hosted by Universcience, as part of a series, 'Art, Science and Technology.' Speakers are as follows:

* Introduction by Ante Glibota - and first official presentation of the monograph in France.

* Fernando Arrabal, exquisite writer and play wright, will speak about the poetic vision of Otto Piene’s work.

* Author Heinz Norbert Jocks will then talk about Group Zero, which was founded by O. Piene and H. Mack in 1957 in Duesseldorf. It became a most important European avant-garde movement of its time. International artists exhibited extensively under the 'O - Banner' then, and historic exhibitions can be seen again in the US and Europe.

* Finally, Otto Piene will speak about art, science, and technology in his own work and vision.

A reception and book signing will follow. Delight Edition is recommending to RSVP, which can be done via the linked invitation and press release, written in French.

* The nearly 800 page book, with 3000 illustrations, was published in English and German. It was printed on the finest paper in Italy and priced at: 200 Euros, plus shipping. Delight Edition will gladly give further information.

Following now are Piene and Glibota’s biographies:


A multi-faceted artist with numerous creative interests, Otto Piene is not only an essential creator of our times, and one of its most inventive, but he is, without a doubt, one of the most sensitive and attentive observers of the changes occurring between mankind and nature. He carries within himself a structured thought process that in its broad dimension and its philosophical, as well as aesthetical depth enables us to penetrate deep inside the mysteries of art, of its poetry and of the very essence of life itself.

Otto Piene was born in Bad Laasphe, Westphalia, on April 18th, 1928 and grew up in Lübbecke. He comes from a family of several generations of Protestant ministers. His father, a school principal with wide ranging interests, including philosophy and ancient mathematics, authored numerous books. After returning from military and POW service, Otto Piene in 1948 enrolled in the private Munich art school Blocherer Schule and later in the Hochschule der Bildenden Künste in Munich in 1949. In 1950 he continued his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Düsseldorf (Staatliche Kunstakademie) and Cologne University (Albertus Magnus Universität), where he completed his state examination in philosophy with distinction in 1957.

In 1955 he established his first studio at Gladbachstrasse 69 [Duesseldorf] and founded, together with Heinz Mack, the group ZERO. In 1964 he moved to the United States and in 1968 became the first international fellow at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies (CAVS) of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, MA, at the invitation of György Kepes. He succeeded Kepes as Director of CAVS in 1974 and became MIT Professor Emeritus and CAVS Director Emeritus in 1994.

He has presented more than 130 solo exhibitions and participated in several hundred group exhibitions. He has staged well over 100 Light Ballet performances and some 100 Sky Art events. His work is included in more than 140 of the world’s finest museums, including the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) and the Metropolitan Museum in New York City.

Otto Piene, together with Elizabeth Goldring-Piene, lives and works at their farm in Groton, Massachusetts, at MIT in Boston and in his studio in Düsseldorf, Germany.


The art and architectural historian, author and curator, was born in Slivno, Croatia.

He studied at the University of Zagreb and Sorbonne University in Paris and has lived in Paris since 1973, from where he has maintained close bonds with artistic and intellectual circles all over the world. In1978 he started to work for the Paris Art Center, at that time active in the fields of experimental film, theatre, modern dance and the fine arts. In 1979 he was appointed artistic director and later, in 1982, director general of the Paris Art Center, a position he held until 1994. He was the commissioner and editor for the event “Olympiad of Arts” that took place in Seoul, South Korea, on the occasion of the 1988 Olympic Games and led to the creation of the largest open air sculpture park in the world. More recently, he was appointed curator and editor of “Art and Sport”, an exhibition organized by Adidas and the IOC for the Olympic Games 2008 in Beijing, China.

As author and publisher of over 200 books and catalogues, and curator of more than 400 exhibitions devoted to contemporary art, architecture and literature. Ante Glibota is a Titular Member of the European Academy of Sciences, Arts and Humanities and an Honorary Member of the American Institute of Architects. In 2004, the China International Culture Exchange Center (CICEC) in Beijing appointed him to a five-year term as Foreign Counselor for International Cultural Exchanges. Since 2010 he serves as Vice-President and Curator-in-Chief of the Museum of Art and Urbanity in Shanghai, China. Ante Glibota lives in Paris, France and Shanghai, China.

In the USA, of course, museums, collectors, and art book lovers, are wondering, when the Otto Piene monograph will have an official introduction here.

Mark Favermann review of MIT Piene Event

Piene's Sperone Westwater Exhibition

Hiemer on Zero in New York

Giuliano on Zero in New York