From October 22, 2004 to February 27, 2005, the GAMeC will present a retrospective exhibition dedicated to Getulio Alviani, who was one of the most important artists at the international level during the 1960’s and early 1970’s, as a leading member of the current that was alternately labeled Optical Art, Kinetic Art, and Programmed Art (this last term was coined by Umberto Eco). This one-man show features the artist’s entire career and explores the different techniques, periods, and formats of his work.
Getulio Alviani’s artistic training was close to masters like Josef Albers, Konrad Wachsmann and Max Bill, who, in developing the theoretical and practical premises of the Bauhaus, nudged artistic innovation and creative work in a scientific direction, basing aesthetic work on expansion of the field of perception and the verifiability of solutions to problems.
Alviani has been conducting research on materials and their organization in programmatic compositions for over forty years: his interest in the use of art for plastic structures and visual knowledge deriving from the industrial field began in the 1960’s with the production of his first works in aluminum (such as light lines, 1961 and vibratile weave surface 1.2.4, 1961-62), one of which was acquired for the permanent collections of the MOMA in New York starting in 1965, the year when the artist was invited to participate in the group showThe Responsive Eye.
Alviani has always followed an artistic approach that seeks to plan the entire scope of life and contemporary aesthetics, working not only in the field of the visual arts but also extending his creativity to the fields of design, architecture, and fashion.
The exhibition at the GAMeC in Bergamo focuses attention both on the environmental dimension of Alviani’s work – through the reworking of kinetic environments in the 1960’s, like Chromospecular Interrelation (1969), Curved Specular Interrelation (1965/1967), and Relief with Right Angle Reflections (1967), which are included in the exhibition – and research on the technical synthesis of light and dynamism in more traditionally formatted works. His abstract approach to form is analyzed not only through environments and sculptures, but also through his characteristic works, which are executed by grinding metallic materials like steel and aluminum, works whose shimmering surfaces are defined and redefined as the observer changes position and of which the exhibition presents a broad selection that ranges up to the present day.
Alviani was one of the principal promoters at the international level of an approach to art as a form of knowledge that, through the study of optical phenomena, investigates the structures of perception.
In this sense, he has carried out his work not only as artist but also as theoretician, authoring numerous texts and curating various exhibitions.
His works manifest a continuous search for rules and geometric proportions generated by mathematical calculations and contrasts between primary or complementary colors: art and science become the fields of research for an aesthetic rigor that denotes both of them.
Alviani’s works are always conceived in relation to the observer’s point of view and stimulate it by using the refraction of luminous effects on metallic surfaces and the observer’s movements with respect to the objects in front of him as artistic materials: the result is that these objects change physically, while the space that contains them and the individual’s visual perception become part of the work. Alviani has always proposed an approach that remains extremely topical by challenging the traditional significance of artistic representation and illusion and presenting an idea of work as the dynamic center of relation with the public.
His attention to the perceptive dimension has led the artist to expand the space of art in creation of physical environments where the graphic weave of the walls generates illusionary effects of perspective and volumetric deformation.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a monographic catalogue published by Skira Editore, with texts by Loredana Parmesani, Beppe Finessi, and a conversation between the artist and Giacinto Di Pietrantonio, Director of the GAMeC and curator of the exhibition. The catalogue will be rounded out by complete documentation of the artist’s writings and biographical and bibliographical apparatus.