fbpx Biennale Arte 2022 | Grazia Varisco
La Biennale di Venezia

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Grazia Varisco

1937, Italy

  • TUE - SUN
    23/04 > 25/09
    11 AM - 7 PM

    27/09 > 27/11
    10 AM - 6 PM
  • Central Pavilion
  • Admission with ticket

In the early 1960s, Grazia Varisco embarked on an investigation in tune with international currents of Kinetic and Perceptual art. Alongside her fascination with the industrial aesthetic and with emerging computer technology, Varisco immediately focused on the relationship that a work establishes with the viewer, trying to foster engagement through kinetic stimuli. It is no coincidence that the group the artist joined in 1960 was called Gruppo T (for time), or that the other members – Giovanni Anceschi, Davide Boriani, Gianni Colombo, and Gabriele Devecchi – thought of viewers as “co-authors” and exhibited their works with an invitation to “please touch.” The Tavole magnetiche (1959–1962) that marked Varisco’s debut within the group are simple metal surfaces on which visitors can move around magnets of various colours, shapes and sizes. She conceived subsequent works with shifting elements meant to provide perceptual stimulation. For instance, her Schemi luminosi variabili (1961–1968), already exhibited at the Biennale in 1964 and 1986, explore the full potential of real and illusory movement. The combined effect of movement and light – powered by the rotation of a motor inside transparent Perspex – makes luminous shapes emerge from the dark plastic surfaces, shifting like a kaleidoscope an endlessly recombined to create optical illusions, disruptions, and superimpositions.

Stefano Mudu


Grazia Varisco, Schema luminoso variabile R. VOD. LAB., 1964. Kinetic light object, black wooden box, blue Perspex (methacrylate), electric motor 3/2 rpm, neon lamp, 91 × 91 × 12.5 cm. Photo Thomas Libiszewski. Collection of the artist.
Courtesy the Artist; Archivio Varisco

Central Pavilion
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Biennale Arte
Biennale Arte