This Is Your Last Chance to See the Historic Studio Where the ZERO Artists Worked

This weekend, Otto Piene's former fire studio in Dusseldorf will be open to the public for the last time before it closes for renovation and reopens as the ZERO Foundation's new headquarters.

The future home of the ZERO Foundation in Dusseldorf juxtaposed with a graphic for promotional purposes. Image courtesy the ZERO Foundation.
The future home of the ZERO Foundation in Dusseldorf juxtaposed with a graphic for promotional purposes. Image courtesy the ZERO Foundation.

The ZERO Foundation is currently seeking sponsors to help pay for the full renovation of its new headquarters, a building in Dusseldorf that was formerly used as a studio for the ZERO movement’s core members Otto Piene, Heinz Mack, and Günther Uecker. Its latest fundraising effort will be an open house this Sunday, April 23, allowing visitors to take a final look at the old studios before they begin renovation, including a “fire studio” that has remained untouched since it was last used by Piene before his death in 2014.

The foundation is aiming to raise €550,000 (about $590,000) for the renovation, and so far has solicited €402,500. This weekend’s open house aims to chip away at what remains of the goal by charging visitors to the studio a €20 admission fee (although the foundation does ask for an €80 donation).

Uecker first rented part of the house in 1961, but over the years, not only ZERO artists used it as a workspace. Robert Rauschenberg, Christo, Robert Morris, and Yvonne Rainer also worked there at different times. Now, the building’s windows, roof, plumbing, electricity, and heating are in need of repair.

After renovation, the foundation plans to move in next year, and will use it as a site for research and exhibitions, besides housing a library, the ZERO archives, and creating a fellowship program.

Otto Piene, The Proliferation of the Sun (2014), Installation view Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin Photo: David von Becker

Otto Piene, The Proliferation of the Sun (2014), Installation view Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin. Photo: David von Becker

The ZERO Foundation was created in 2008 in cooperation with Piene, Mack, and Uecker, in order to preserve and exhibit historic ZERO artworks and documents, and today remains dedicated to artistic and scientific exploration. The ZERO group was founded in 1958 by Mack and Piene.

Piene, who died three years ago at the age of 86 while installing his major retrospective in Berlin, “More Sky,” has been in the news lately for another reason: his estate will now be represented by Sprüth Magers, and the gallery will show an exhibition of his work during Berlin Gallery Weekend.

The ZERO Foundation’s open house will take place on April 23 from 3 pm to 6 pm at Hüttenstraße 104, Dusseldorf.


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