These rebels made art for the space age with light and flamethrowers

In the years after World War II, much of Europe was being rebuilt. The darkness of the war still hung like a pall over life and memory, and even though the old powers had been swept away, new rivalries were already setting conflict into motion on the world stage. The art world, in particular, was trying to look forward, and it needed a way to feel hopeful for the future.

Artists Heinz Mack and Otto Piene met in school in the early 1950s, and struck up a partnership aimed at wiping the slate…

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