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Kinetic Art by Gianni Colombo at Castello di Rivoli

  • 16

    September 2009
  • 10

    January 2010
Castello di Rivoli, Turin  

On September 16 at the Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art, an important retrospective exhibition dedicated to the Italian artist Gianni Colombo will open. On display will be roughly 100 works illustrating his influence on the field of international kinetic art, which developed during the fifties and sixties. The show will include a wide selection of the artist's paintings, sculptures, furniture, light installations and other representative pieces.


Gianni Colombo (Milan, 1937 - Melzo, 1993) was active in the Milanese art scene of the late fifties, at a time when the dawn of the "Italian miracle" was strongly influencing culture. In 1959, he was among the founders of the Gruppo T, which proposed that art be kinetic, powered and optical, as well as provide a clear role for spectators' perceptions. Their aim was to use the creation of interactive spaces to abolish the static boundaries that divided painting, sculpture and architecture. In 1968, Colombo won first prize at the XXXIV Venice Biennale with "Elastic Space" (1967), which over the years became his most famous work.


Colombo, who anticipated many of the trends that have come to define today's discourse in international contemporary art, helped give a new definition of art as a space brought to life by the active participation of the spectator. His work advanced the development of new dynamics of perception, including unprecedented visual and sensory fields of interaction that he created with the use of light and movement in space.


The retrospective at the Castello di Rivoli includes Colombo's most important works, along with a selection of paintings and ceramics that reveal the influences of Paul Klee, Max Ernst and Surrealism. On display will be feltri (1958-59), Rilievi intermutabili (1959), Superfici in variazione (1959), the electromechanical structures of Strutturazioni pulsanti (1959), the Strutturazioni fluide (1960), as well as six environments, ranging from Strutturazione cinevisuale abitabile (1964) and Topoestesia (1997), to Spazio curvo (1992). Also exhibited will be one of his last works, Opus incertum (1992).


According to Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, director of the museum, "If Fontana was the artist who defined the space of the work as the work of art itself, Colombo investigated art as participatory space, thus anticipating many current interests."



(picture: Gianni Colombo, Topoestesia-tre zone contigue (itinerario programmato),1965-70, Courtesy Archivio Gianni Colombo, Milano. Photo Ugo Mulas)




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