Grazia Varisco, If…

1 October – 28 November, 2015 Curated by Michele Robecchi

Vernissage: 1 October 2015, 6pm – 8.30pm Cortesi Gallery London

41&43 Maddox Street, W1S 2PD London, UK

Cortesi Gallery is delighted to present, for the first time in London, a solo exhibition by the Italian artist Grazia Varisco.


Following the successful exhibition Grazia Varisco: Filo Rosso 1960/2015 at Cortesi Lugano in Switzerland, the gallery is now pleased to introduce Varisco’s body of work to the London audience.

Born in Milan in 1937, Grazia Varisco has been a key representative of programmed and kinetic art throughout her artistic career. Together with Giovanni  Anceschi, Gianni Colombo, Davide Boriani and Gabriele De Vecchi, she was a member of the Italian Gruppo T (T Group, where “T” refers to the concept of time as a new content of art). Founded in 1959 in Milan, Gruppo T was one of the most  important collectives of kinetic art in Europe, introducing innovative forms of art through the creation of perceptual experiments and interactive environments designed to encourage and generate different and unexpected reactions in the viewer.

Varisco was one of the earliest artists who explored concepts such as motion and changes in time, while seeking a direct interaction with her audience. Through the use of simple geometric signs, her artworks inhabit the space around them, creating different spatial dimensions that challenge the viewer’s perception and disorientate the senses.

The  London  exhibition  will  give  the  visitors  a  unique  opportunity  to  experience  a comprehensive overview of Varisco’s research, with works spanning from the early ‘60s  to  recent  years.  From  Tavole  Magnetiche  (Magnetic  Boards,  1959­61),  where magnetic  elements  based  on  elementary  dialectic  polarities  like  order/disorder, empty/full,   open/closed,   and   symmetrical/asymmetrical,   are   arranged   on   metal surfaces and can be moved around, to Schemi luminosi variabili (Variable Luminous Schemes,  1962–64),  a  series  of  kinetic  objects  that  use  the rotary  motion  of  the overlapping  screens  is  used  to  produce  continuous  variations  and  repetitions, capturing the unconditional attention of the viewer.

The show will also include more recent works, such as Quadri Comunicanti in acciaio (Communicating Paintings in Steel, 2011). Formally minimal, the works nevertheless manage to dominate the surface on which they appear, simultaneously providing a glimpse of continuity and instability.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue published by Mousse Publishing and edited by Michele Robecchi.

Grazia Varisco


Grazia Varisco (Milan, 1937) attended the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera, Milan, and was a student of Achille Funi. Since 1960, she has been an active representative of Gruppo T. She has participated in the exhibitions Miriorama, in the arte programmata and in exhibitions organised by the international movement Nouvelle Tendance. Her collaboration  with  Gruppo  T ended  in  the  mid­sixties,  after  which  she  continued  to experiment  and  exhibit  independently.  Varisco  participated  in  important  exhibitions such  as:  Biennale  of  Venice,  1964  and  1986;  Quadriennale  of  Rome,  Triennale Toyama Now at the Museum of Modern Art of Toyama, 1990; Force Fields. Phases of  the  Kinetic,  Museu  d’Art  Contemporani  de  Barcelona  and  Hayward  Gallery, London,  2000;  Beyond  Geometry,  Los  Angeles  County  Museum  and  Miami  Art Museum,  2004;  Gli  ambienti  del  Gruppo  T  Galleria  Nazionale  d’Arte  Moderna  of Rome,  2005;  Lo  sguardo  del  collezionista.  Opere  della  Fondazione  VAF,  Mart  of Rovereto,   2005;   Op   art,   Schirn   Kunstalle   of   Frankfurt,   2007;   Arte   cinetica   e programmata,  Galleria  Nazionale  d’Arte  Moderna  of  Rome,  2012.  Her  works  are exhibited  in  museums  and  collections  in  Italy  and  abroad,  including  the  Galleria Nazionale  d’Arte  Moderna  of  Rome,  the  Museum  of  Modern  Art  of  New  York,  the MAMbo of Bologna, the Fundación Museo de Arte Moderno Jesús Soto of Ciudad Bolivar, the Museum im Kulturspeicher of Würzburg, the Galleria d’Arte Moderna of Gallarate, the Museo of Villa Croce Genova, the Museo del Novecento of Milano and the Museum Ritter of Waldenbuch among others. Grazia Varisco is based in Milan.

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