Exposition Art Blog: August 2021

Otto Piene - Experimental Abstract Painting


 German artist specializing in kinetic and technology-based art, often working collaboratively. He lived and worked in Düsseldorf, Germany; Cambridge, Massachusetts; and Groton, Massachusetts.
"Otto Piene ( 1928 -2014 ) studied at the Academy of Art in Munich and later during the late 1950s at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf where he met Heinz Mack and co-formed the highly influential Group Zero in 1957, latterly joined by Gunther Uecker. ZERO, in contrast to Abstract Expressionism, emphasized art void of colour, emotion, and individual expression.
Piene was highly experimental and motivated by non-traditional art materials and techniques. Best known for his paintings made with smoke and fire (Rauchbilder), Piene applied solvent to pigmented paper and lit it on fire, developing organic images in the residual soot. The “raster” (grid) paintings of stencilled paint, also cast in ceramic, inspired The Light Ballet; a series of sculptural installations in which light was projected from moving globes and brass columns through grids allowing the light to ‘dance’ on the wall.
His technological exploration into light continued with holograms, lasers and strobing, and Piene become the first fellow of the MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies in 1968. Piene went on to serve as the director of the MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies from 1974 to 1993. His works can be found in numerous museum collections around the world, including The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. In 2014, the Guggenheim Museum in New York opened a large-scale historical survey of the work of the ZERO group."(mayorgallery.com)


Endre Szász


 Endre Szász (1926 – 2003) was a Hungarian graphic artist, printmaker, illustrator, muralist and ceramics decorator. He described himself as a Folk Surrealist.Endre's father, Béla Szász, was a doctor, and he seems to have inherited his artistic ability from his mother's (Erzsébet Susenka) family. He was a natural artist and drew from childhood. He used oil, acrylic, tempera, pencil, ink, charcoal, monotype, drypoint, lithography, etching and aquatint, and painted on several materials, like posters and porcelain. He also had several book illustrations.Between the late 1940s until the late 1960s, Szász worked as an illustrator. During this time, he illustrated a few hundred books. In 1959, he won an illustrator prize in the Leipzig Fair. In 1964 in Britain, he presented his works on Omar Khayyam's Rubaiyat. He had several exhibitions all over the world, including the Museum of Modern Art (Mexico City), Auschwitz Museum (Poland), the Hungarian National Gallery (Budapest), and also exhibited in Madrid, Copenhagen, Brussels, Berlin, Rome, Oslo, Johannesburg, New Orleans, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Budapest, Amman (Jordan) and Tokyo. A Szász original also hangs in La Sebastiana, one of the homes of the famous Chilean poet and diplomat Pablo Neruda. Szász owned a pet ocelot, as had Dali, though it is not certain this was in emulation.Szász lived in Toronto, Canada 1970–1974, then in Los Angeles, California until 1982, when he went back to Hungary


Elsa Gramcko - Abstract Sculpture and Painting


Elsa Gramcko (1925 - 1994 ) was a Venezuelan abstract sculptor and painter. Her earlier works, which date from 1954, were geometric paintings, while her later works were more tachist in nature.While her earlier works consisted of mostly paintings, she expanded into sculpture and assemblage in the 1960s and 70s. In 1959, José Gómez Sicre curated her first solo show at the Art Museum of the Americas in Washington D.C. She represented Venezuela in the 1959 São Paulo Art Biennial and in the 1964 Venice Biennale. In 1968 she was awarded the National Art Prize at the Official Salon of Venezuelan Art and in 1966 she became the first woman to obtain the first prize at the D'Empaire Salon held in Maracaibo, Zulia State, Venezuela. Her work is held in various private and public collections throughout Latin America and worldwide.Ida Gramcko, her sister, was an essayist and poet.Wikipedia