Alberto Biasi (Padua, 1937) is one of the foremost figures in post-war Italian art. He is one of the most coherent and authoritative practitioners at an international level of what in Italy has been called “arte programmata” or “arte cinetica,” and is elsewhere known as “Optical Art”. From 1959, the year that the young Biasi began his career in art, to today, his activity has always been concerned with inquiries into perception through series of works, each of which poetically and scientifically deals with various problems involving vision: from his first Trame to the famous Light Prisms and the Optical dynamic reliefs.
In 1988 an anthological show of his work was mounted in the Museo Civico agli Eremitani in Padua. In 2000 he elaborated a summary of his preceding research to create his Assemblaggi, a series of works mainly consisting of prevalently monochrome diptychs and triptychs which convey an amazing sculptural and coloristic effect. In 2006 he exhibited at the Hermitage, Saint Petersburg.
Apart from the twelve exhibitions as part of the N group, Biasi has held over one hundred solo shows in such prestigious venues as Palazzo Ducale, Urbino; the Wigner Institute, Erice; the Barcelona Cathedral Museum; the Museo Nazionale di Villa Pisani; and the Prague National Gallery. He has also taken part in more than five hundred group shows, including ITALIAN ZERO & avant-garde ‘60s, the MAMM Museum, Moscow; the thirty-second and forty-second Venice Biennales; the eleventh São Paulo Biennale; the tenth, eleventh, and fourteenth Rome Quadrennials; and the best-known graphic biennales, where he obtained numerous important awards.
Alberto Biasi’s works can be found in prestigious collections around the world such as Museum of Modern Art in New York, Hermitage of Saint Petersburg, Museum of Modern Art in Rome, Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, and in the museums of Belgrade, Bratislava, Buenos Aires, Prague, San Francisco, Tokyo, Turin, Ulm, Wroclaw, Zagabria.
Alberto Biasi, Dinamica Rettangolare, 1995, PVC relief on painted wood panel
35.4 x 63 x 1.9 inches / 90 x 160 x 5 cm
Alberto Biasi, Dinamica Visiva, 1961, two PVC layers
24 x 24 x 3.1 inches/61 x 61 x 8 cm
Hugo Demarco (Buenos Aires, 1932-1995) was an Argentinian artist who helped pioneer both Op and Kinetic Art. His work explores the nature of light and movement through his rigorous investigations of color and pattern, often animating his moving surfaces through the use of prisms.
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1932, he traveled to Paris in 1959 where he made his first kinetic paintings, achieving a unique optical vibration through superimposing complementary colors. His first solo exhibition, which included both paintings and reliefs, was held at the Galerie Denise René in Paris in 1961, and he gradually established himself as a member of the Nouvelle Tendance movement and befriended other ex-pat artists such as Jesús Rafael Soto and Julio Le Parc. The animation of two-dimensional surfaces became the main object of the artist’s research in the 1970s, progressing to visually and physically active structures despite the simplicity of their patterns. Form, color, texture, and rhythm were combined to produce virtual volumes and movements, as well as the great tension between the real and the unreal. Demarco died in 1995 in Paris, France.
His works are today found in many important museum collections, including Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires; Collection Torcuato di Tella, Buenos Aires; Recklinghausen Museum; Museo de Bellas Artes and De Arte Contemporaneo of Caracas; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Collezione Peter Stuyvesant, Amsterdam; Tel Aviv Museum; Museo Soto, Ciudad Bolivar; The Museum of Drawers, Berne; Collection Cnac, Parigi; The University of Sydney, Australia; Museo d’Arte Moderna, Amburgo; Museo itineranteSalvador Allende; Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Madrid.
aluminum, electric motor, wood lamp
11.8 x 8.2 x 8.2 inches
30 x 21 x 21 cm
Israeli-born artist Shay Frisch (Petach-Tikva, 1963) reorganizes cold industrial elements into autonomous energy fields. His immersive installations turn into power generators, electromagnetic fields that extend into space, assuming the same significance of paintings or monuments. The magnetic fields interact with space, making explicit a declared willingness to engage the visitor in an immersive experience, a direct relationship between work and viewer.
Trained as an industrial designer, Frisch earned his master’s degree from the Domus Academy in Milan in 1990. Frisch’s energy fields are location sensitive and require an understanding of each individual space to express the appropriate proportion of energy emanated. Campo, meaning “field” in Italian, is the title of all of the artist’s work and refers to an electrical eld. Each “CAMPO” is classified with its identification mark, drawn from the sum of components to produce the work. Lastly, the title is followed by a letter indicating its color name in italian, N for black and B for white.
Based now for many years in Rome, Frisch’s works have been exhibited in some of the most important museums in Italy and Israel. In 2013 the Italian National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rome dedicated a big solo show to his works, curated by Achille Bonito Oliva. The Italian National Gallery also houses his work in their permanent collection, as do the Monastery of San Lorenzo in Padula Museum, Italy, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Spoleto, Italy, and the Chanel Foundation, among others. The artist has numerous exhibitions planned for 2017, including shows at MAC (Museum of Contemporary Art) in Santiago, Chile, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Lima, Peru, MON (Oscar Niemeyer Museum) in Curitiba, Brazil, and two exhibitions in Palermo, Italy, one at ZAC - Area Zisa Contemporary Arts and the other at the Rice Museum.
wood panel, electrical components
64.3 x 29.7 inches
163.5 x 75.5 cm
Christian Megert (Bern, 1936) was a prominent member of the ZERO Group. He attended the Kunstgewerbeschule in Bern from 1952 to 1955. Extended study trips to Berlin, Stockholm, and Paris followed, during the course of which he met colleagues such as Antoni Tapies, Piero Manzoni, Agostino Bonalumi, Otto Piene and Lucio Fontana.
Moving to Sweden, Germany and then Paris, Megert experimented with his artistic style, starting at first in monochrome and later, producing his first kinetic object in 1959.
Focusing primarily on the use of light, movement, and reflection, Megert chose mirrors to be his artistic medium of choice, producing his first mirror object in 1960. Much of Megert's work requires interaction from and with the audience, and in a similar fashion to his other Group Zero members, the link between art and life and art and everyday reality is integral to his work.
Megert moved to Dusseldorf in 1973, where he held a professorship in the Integration of Fine Art and Architecture at the Kunstakademie. He created numerous large stone sculptures for the Musikzentrum in Amsterdam, the city of Maastricht, the West LB in Wesel, the Bundesgartenschau in Dusseldorf, the Terrassenbad Baden, the Bankverein Thun and the city of Vaduz in Liechtenstein. Museum fur Konkrete Kunst in Ingolstadt and Museum Ritter in Waldenbuch have already honored Megert’s oeuvre with a retrospective.
Megert has been represented in a number of one-man shows including at Galerie Kopke, Copenhagen in 1959 and 1961 and Galerie Kaspar, Lausanne in 1963, he has also been widely shown with the Zero Group and kinetic shows in Europe. He was an important representative at the Major Zero retrospective “Zero: Countdown to Tomorrow, 1950s–1960s” held at the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 2014 and at subsequent Zero exhibitions at Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin and Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam in 2015 and Socle du Monde Biennale 2017 - HEARST - Museum of Contemporary Art.
His works are today found in a number of private and public collections including the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Montreal, Progressive Museum, Bâle, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Museum Oscar Niemeyer, Curitiba, Museum Kunstpalast, Dusseldorf, Kunstmuseum Bern, Schweizerische Nationalbank, Bern, Sammlung Lenz, Selb.
wood, mirror, transparent mirror, fluorescent tube
39.7 x 19.6 x 5.1 inches
101 x 50 x 13 cm
Michelangelo Pistoletto was born in Biella in 1933.
He began to exhibit his work in 1955 and in 1960 he had his first solo show at Galleria Galatea in Turin. An inquiry into self-portraiture characterizes his early work. In the two year period, 1961-1962 made the first Mirror Paintings, which directly include the viewer and real time in the work, and open up perspective, reversing the Renaissance perspective that had been closed by the twentieth-century avant-garde. These works quickly brought Pistoletto international acclaim, leading, in the sixties, to one-man shows in important galleries and museums in Europe and the United States. The Mirror Paintings are the foundation of his subsequent artistic output and theoretical thought.
In 1965 and 1966 he produced a set of works entitled Minus Objects, considered fundamental to the birth of Arte Povera, an art movement of which Pistoletto was an animating force and a protagonist. In 1967 he began to work outside traditional exhibition spaces, with the first instances of that “creative collaboration” he developed over the following decades by bringing together artists from different disciplines and diverse sectors of society.
In 1975-76 he presented a cycle of twelve consecutive exhibitions, Le Stanze, at the Stein Gallery in Turin. This was the first of a series of complex, year-long works called “time continents”. Others are White Year (1989) and Happy Turtle (1992).
In 1978, in a show in Turin, Pistoletto defined two main directions his future artwork would take: Division and Multiplication of the Mirror and Art Take On Religion. In the early eighties, he made a series of sculptures in rigid polyurethane, translated into marble for his solo show in 1984 at Forte di Belvedere in Florence. From 1985 to 1989 he created the series of “dark” volumes called Art of Squalor.
During the nineties, with Project Art and with the creation in Biella of Cittadellarte- Fondazione Pistoletto and the University of Ideas, he brought art into active relation with diverse spheres of society with the aim of inspiring and producing responsible social change. In 2003 he won the Venice Biennale’s Golden Lion for Lifelong Achievement. In 2004 the University of Turin awarded him a Laurea Honoris Causa in Political Science. On that occasion, the artist announced what has become the most recent phase of his work, Third Paradise.
In 2007, in Jerusalem, he received the Wolf Foundation Prize in the Arts, “for his constantly inventive career as an artist, educator and activist whose restless intelligence has created prescient forms of art that contribute to a fresh understanding of the world.” He is the Artistic Director of Event in the 2011 'L'art pour une révolution urbaine' in Bordeaux.
In 2010 he wrote the essay The Third Paradise, published in Italian, English, French and German. In 2011 he was the artistic director of Evento 2011 – L'art pour une révolution urbaine in Bordeaux. In 2012 he started promoting the Rebirth-day, first worldwide day of rebirth, celebrated every year on 21st December with initiatives taking place all around the world. In 2013 the Louvre in Paris hosted his personal exhibition Michelangelo Pistoletto, année un le paradis sur terre. In this same year, he received the Praemium Imperiale for painting, in Tokyo.
In 2014 the symbol of the Third Paradise was installed in the hall of the headquarters of the Council of the European Union in Bruxelles for the period of the Italian Presidency of the European Council.
In May 2015 he received a degree honoris causa from the Universidad de las Artes of Havana in Cuba".
In the same year, he realizes a work of big dimensions, called Rebirth, situated in the park of the Palais des Nations in Geneva, headquarters of the UN.
canvas, mirror, gilded wood
each 70 1/8 x 47 1/2 inches
diptych, with 3-inch space, 70 1/8 x 98 inches
each 222.57 x 598.17 cm
diptych, with 7.62 cm space, 222.57 x 248.92 cm
Francisco Sobino (Guadalajara, 1932) studied at the Escuela de Arte y Oficios, Madrid, from 1946 to 1949 before moving to Argentina, where he attended the National Fine Arts School, Buenos Aires, until 1957.
In 1959 he moved to Paris and began to explore visual art, pursuing studies concerning the structure and dynamics of form, as well as color and perception. His work from this period was predominantly black and white, depicting methodical shape progressions with optical effects.
In 1960, along with Julio Le Parc, François Morellet and others, he formed the Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel (GRAV). Active in Paris until 1968, the group’s ethos centered on emphasizing the social function of art, which they believed should no longer be seen as an individual product, but rather as a collective product. From 1961, Sobrino focused his research on three-dimensional constructions, combining modular elements of transparent monochrome and polychrome plexiglass with regular structures that, when overlapped, seemed to change if viewed from different angles.
In 1964 he exhibited at the Documenta, Kassel, and the following year he took part in the exhibition The Responsive Eye, held at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. During this period he built a large stainless steel structure in Sarcelles, France, forming the first of his numerous urban interventions. He also explored the effects of light, focusing on reflections, absorption qualities, transparency, and optical illusions created by shadows.
In the second half of the 1960s Sobrino made kinetic objects that could be manipulated by the viewer. Despite the disbanding of the GRAV group in 1968, he continued his research into three-dimensional constructions. From 1971 he was commissioned by Grenoble, Madrid and Paris to produce sculptures for installation in public places. In 1976 Sobrino studied how to incorporate solar power into his work, creating Scultura autoenergetica in 1981. Sobrino’s work is part of major museum collections such as the Tate Gallery, London, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, the Peggy Guggenheim Foundation, Venice, Tel Aviv Museum, Israel, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C.
12.9 x 23.6 x 3.9 inches
33 x 60 x 10 cm
edition of 100
Widely recognized as a pioneer of contemporary Italian sculpture, architecture, and design, Nanda Vigo (Milan, 1936) graduated from the Institut Polytechnique of Lausanne before furthering her studies in San Francisco and with Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin East.
Vigo opened her own atelier in Milan in 1959, and soon after she began to exhibit her designs in many galleries and museums around Italy and Europe. She later earned her architecture degree and began formulating her own theory of space and time, autonomous to artistic practice. Much of her career’s work stemmed from this exploration, probing and deepening the possibilities of sensorial stimuli obtained by the use of industrial materials, such as glass, mirrors, neon light, and more recently, LED.
Vigo famously collaborated with Italian designer Gio Ponti, as well as Arte Povera pioneers Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni. Vigo became closely affiliated with the ZERO network, and from 1964– 1966 took part in at least 13 ZERO exhibitions, significantly NUL 65 at the Stedelijk, Amsterdam. Vigo was presented with the New York Award for Industrial Design in 1971, the same year she designed the Casa-Museo Remo Brindisi, one of her most renowned projects. Vigo won the St. Gobain prize for glass design in 1976. Most recently Vigo has been featured in the major ZERO group retrospectives: Italian ZERO Avant-Garde of the 1960s, MAMM, Moscow (2011); ZERO: Countdown to Tomorrow, 1950s–60s, Guggenheim Museum (2014); 50 Years of ZERO, Martin Gropius-Bau, Berlin (2015), Socle du Monde Biennale, HEART - Museum of Contemporary Art (2017).
She taught at the Institut Polytechnique of Lausanne, at the Art Academy in Macerata, at the European Institute of Design in Milan and at the Light Master at Brera Academy.
Her works are included in the collections of the GNAM, Museum of Modern Art in Rome, ZERO Foundation, Düsseldorf, Museo del 900 and Museo San Fedele, Milano, La Statale Arte, Universita de gli Studi di Milano, and are on permanent display at the Museum of Design at the Milan Triennale. Since 2013, her works have been presented in the collection of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
aluminum frame, glass, neon
39.3 x 39.3 x 3.9 inches
100 x 100 x 10 cm
aluminum frame, glass
23.6 x 23.6 x 7.8 inches
60 x 60 x 20 cm