Artists Obituaries News Germany

Zero Group artist Otto Piene dies aged 86

German artist's exhibition has just opened at Berlin's Neue Nationalgalerie

Piene created his rainbow work for the closing ceremony of the 1972 Munich Olympics, a symbol of hope following the terrorist attacks in the city

The German artist Otto Piene, who was one of the founding members of the Zero Group, died yesterday, Thursday 17 July. A pioneer of kinetic and technology-based art, Piene is perhaps best-known for lighting up the Munich sky at the end of the 1972 Olympics with a giant rainbow.

Piene had just finished installing his major exhibition, "More Sky", at the Neue Nationalgalerie and the Deutsche Bank Kunsthalle in Berlin, which also opened on 17 July (until 31 August). One of Piene's famous "Sky Art Events" was due to take place tomorrow evening, 19 July, in the sky above the Neue Nationalgalerie. At the time of writing, the museum had not confirmed whether the event will still go ahead.

Update: the Neue Nationalgalerie issued a statement saying the Sky Art Event will take place on 19 July from 5pm–3am, as planned by Piene.

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