German artist Otto Piene dies, aged 86

BERLIN (AP) — German artist Otto Piene, known for his colorful paintings and gigantic open-air sculptures, has died at age 86.

Piene died Thursday shortly after the opening of an exhibition of his work at Berlin's Neue Nationalgalerie.

His death was confirmed Friday by Markus Farr, a spokesman for the group Friends of the Neue Nationalgalerie that organized the exhibit.

Piene was born 1928 in Bad Laasphe, studying in Munich and Duesseldorf. Together with fellow artist Heinz Mack he founded the influential European post-war movement Group Zero in 1957.

In 1974 Piene was appointed director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Center for Advanced Visual Studies. He retired in 1993.

His work has been exhibited in more than 100 galleries and museums worldwide and was shown at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games.

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