An exclusive virtual exhibition with a selection of works spanning over 50 years of Alberto Biasi’s career.
“Art movements always move in leaps. In 1950’s there was a big change because technology was introduced to art. Since then, there hasn’t been a significant ‘movement’, so I think there will be a new vanguard, which will be influenced by kinetic art. The electronic art age will eventually take over. Whether there will be progress or a regression as a result, we will never know.”
– Alberto Biasi
Biasi’s work advocates the creation of mathematical rules to predetermine the creation of the artworks, while offering possibilities of variations in the artwork’s colour, size and shape. This method is exemplified in what constitutes the core of this exhibition, the Oggetti Ottico-Dinamici – thin strips of PVC radiating from a central point and twisting equidistantly towards a geometric wooden frame to create ever-more intriguing shapes.
This intricate assemblages of both raw and synthetic materials, is emphasised as the spectator moves around the work: the immobile strips become animated with morphing geometric shapes. Thus the artist elaborated the concept he called ‘virtual kineticism’, and which he would explore throughout his career, particularly in his and works.
This process mesmerisingly steers viewers away from the conventional belief that we are controlled by what we see. That is, we are drawn to interact with what we choose to see.
Alberto Biasi is one of the foremost exponents of Kinetic Art in Italy, as well as a co-founder of the Gruppo N, which included Ennio Chiggio, Toni Costa, Edoardo Landi and Alfredo Massironi. The optical-dynamic experiments the group realised between its creation in 1959 and dissolution in 1967 led to Biasi being exhibited alongside Enrico Castellani and the Nine Tendencije movement in Zagreb, making him one of the instigators of the movement of Arte Programmata (‘Programmed Art’).
Biasi’s first series of works, entitled Trame, was constituted of cotton gauzes, metal wires and perforated cardboard overlaid to create wefts through which light would filter in a constellation-like effect that changed in relation to the viewer.
Taking this relationship between the artwork and the spectator even further, Biasi started making his Oggetti Ottico-Dinamici in the early 1960s – thin strips of PVC radiating from a central point and twisting equidistantly towards a geometric wooden frame. As the suspended object vacillates and the spectator moves around it, the immobile strips become animated with morphing geometric shapes.
Thus the artist elaborated the concept he called ‘virtual kineticism’, and which he would explore throughout his career, particularly in his Rilievi Ottico-Dinamici, where the plastic strips are attached over a painted and later even patterned and printed surface to create ever-more intriguing works.
A great innovator, this multi-faceted artist also created Ambienti (‘Environments’), immersive installations with light and colour that blur the senses, creating a feeling of visual, spatial and temporal instability for the spectator. These include works Light Prisms, an installation from 1962 with light, prisms and motors that was exhibited at the Venice Biennale two years later. Biasi’s experiments with kineticism continued after the dissolution of the Gruppo N with the Politipi – a complex extension of his optical-dynamic works comprising actual moving parts.
As well as 12 exhibitions with the Gruppo N – including ‘The Responsive Eye’ at the MoMA in New York – and numerous solo shows, Biasi’s work was presented at the Venice Biennale, the Sao Paulo Art Biennial, the Rome Quadriennale and most recently in the AZIMUT/H Continuità e nuovo exhibition at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in 2014.
“Through his works, ideas and actions, Alberto Biasi fully contributed to the elaboration and development of Lumino-Kinetic art in the second half of the 20th century.
His accomplishments are essential and their echoes can still be found in contemporary creation. Alongside other Italian artists claiming the same values, Alberto Biasi actively participated in what Lea Vergine called the “last avant-garde” in 1983, referring to the rationalist utopia of abstract art pioneers.
Alberto Biasi created a simple, direct and approachable art, structured by a positivist goal, based on the use of program- med, controlled techniques, relying on experimentation, opened to society, carrying surprise and beauty. A beautiful ideal indeed.”
– Serge Lemoine
in Alberto Biasi, exhibition catalogue, Tornabuoni Art Paris, 2015
Nascita di una nazione, Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, 2018
AZIMUT/H. Continuity and Newness, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, 2014
The Responsive Eye, MoMA, February 23–April 25, 1965
Alberto Biasi solo show | 2017 | London
Alberto Biasi solo show | 2019 | Paris
exhibition catalogue edited by Tornabuoni Art Paris. Introduction by Serge Lemoine. B/w and colored illustrations, 176 pages, 9,4×11,8 in, French/English, 2015.
exhibition catalogue edited by Tornabuoni Art Paris and Dominique Stella. B/w and colored illustrations, 184 pages, 9,4×11,8 in, French/English and Italian/English, 2013.