Marina Apollonio’s artistic investigation focuses on creating perceptual stimuli through a combination of pure forms. Her practice has always overlapped with the rational approach, scientific objectives, and systematic style of Programmed, Concrete, Kinetic, and Optical Art. Apollonio’s first works from the early 1960s are drawings on paper, carefully filled in with two colours or tones; they are made up of repeated geometric figures, arranged in grids to create a dynamic effect on the eye. Exploring the relationship between the artwork and its surroundings, Apollonio began modifying the geometry of her early experiments to obtain a constantly different outcome. Each work in her series Rilievi (1964–1970), for instance, is like a three-dimensional version of her works on paper, featuring a metal lattice made from thin strips of aluminium. Mounted on dark or fluorescent sheets of coloured masonite, these meshes have a varying pattern in which the size, alternation, depth, and spacing of the strips changes to render the overall composition dynamic. Depending on the vantage point, their “motion” is accentuated by the background
colour and by the qualities of the aluminium surface, which shimmers as it reflects the viewer’s movement.