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Otto Piene (1928-2014)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Otto Piene (1928-2014)

Orange Fire

Details
Otto Piene (1928-2014)
Orange Fire
signed, titled, dedicated and dated '"ORANGE FIRE" "For Mira"3 Piene 73"' (on the reverse)
soot and pigment on canvas
26 ¾ x 37 7/8in. (68 x 96.2cm.)
Executed in 1973
Provenance
Gift from the artist to the present owner in 1972.
Special notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.

Lot Essay

‘Our interest in fugitive phenomena and effects on the environment makes fire an appealing medium. It shines, warms, reacts strongly to other elements, and retain power even when confronted with massive technology. To master fire is an old challenge to man’
(O. Piene, More Sky, exh. cat., Neue Nationalgalerie – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Berlin, and Verlag der Buchandlung Walther Konig, Cologne, 2014, p.78).

In Orange Fire, Piene has continued his exploration of fire by burning pigment directly onto the canvas. The resulting bubbles and crusts that form give the circular composition a strange depth, an alchemistic quality. The radiant surface appears to vibrate, achieving a sublime sense of simplicity and coherence without external reference. For Piene, works such as Orange Fire make visible the elusive forces of pure energy. As the artist explained, ‘the eye is more important than the hand. Bodily involvement is relatively modest
compared to, say, the gesture-rich practice of Informel painter. Direct contact of hand-to-paper does not occur… The smoke drawings are without “handwriting”. Anonymity of the author is widely sustained’ (O. Piene, quoted in Otto Piene, Villorba 2011, p. 106).

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