DUrING THE VeNICE BIEnNALE, ThE FOUnDATION GEtULIO ALVIaNI PREsENTS “ANTHrOPOMETRY” REVEaLING ThE INCREDiBLE VIsUAL EXPErIMENTATIoNS OF THE ArTIST IN-BEtWEEN ArT, FAShION AND THEAtRE
Text by: Fiammetta Cesana
Who was Getulio Alviani?
Graphic, designer, theorist, Op-art and kinetic artist, and, as he mostly liked to present himself, ideatore plastico (plastic inventor). He was born in 1939 in Udine, North Italy, where he first worked in the studio of Max Piccini, acquiring knowledge and manual skills of sculpturing. The study of the issues of visual communication, that would define his whole artistic research, started when the young Alviani working for an electric fabric got fascinated by wires and modular systems; his first series in fact would be called “Wires”. In the 50s he started to join exhibitions showing the “Superfici a testura vibratile” (vibrating texture surfaces), that would turn into his landmark, and so entering the international art scenario. In the 60s Alviani joined the movement “Nove Tendencije”, which embraced different groups of artists including a Parisian and an Italian one, and he became friends with Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni. Then in 1965 he participated at the exhibition “Responsive Eye” at MoMA in New York, officially claiming his belonging to the Kinetic and Programmed Art movement and conquering the international audience with his interactive multidimensional artworks. After leaving the chair at the Accademia di belle arti of Carrara, in the late 70s, while traveling in South America, he was entitled as director of Jesús Soto Museum of Modern Art in Ciudad Bolívar in Venezuela. Between the 80s and 90s, Aliviani participated at many Venice Biennales, and among his several exhibitions he showed the traveling “Light, Movement and Programming” in different cities worldwide, including Milano Triennale, Palazzo delle Papesse in Siena, Buenos Aires Art Biennale and Rome Quadriennale.
What is Anthropometry?
As we anticipated on DRY 11, today, a year after his death, the Getulio Alviani Foundation presents his “Anthropometry” during the International Art Exhibition, at the gorgeous Palazzo Barbaro on the Venice Grand Canal; and they now claim that its closure has been postponed to June 30 (by appointment only – below the info). The exhibition blends art, fashion, jewelry, and theatrical performance, gathering many artists that marked Alviani’s career and life, including: Yaacov Agam, Max Bill, Almir Mavignier, founder of “Nove Tendencije”, Enrico Castellani, member of the Paduan Group N, Tony Costa, Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni, just to name a few.
Diora Fraglica Alviani, Getulio’s wife and president of the Foundation, said: “The project title draws inspiration from Yves Klein and his Anthropometries. The interdisciplinary event will be focused on the concept of motion which inspired Getulio Alviani in so many works, and brought his optical fashion to life. According to Alviani, anthropometry, through the movement of the bodies, becomes an organism able to produce constantly evolving images”.
On show, the clothes designed in the 60s by Germana Marucelli in collaboration with Getulio Alviani reveal the kinetic experimentations of the artist, leveling the garments themselves up to three-dimensional sculptures. The clothes called “Cerchio + Quadrato = Volume” and “Positivo-Negativo” were exhibited at the MoMA in 1965, the Guggenheim in New York in 1991, and more recently, at the Prada Foundation in Venice in 2012.
Alongside the garments, also the jewels created by Getulio Alviani “Cerchi Virtuali” and “Mono-Orecchini” are displayed, both raised from the concept of free movement within space and light, as wearable sculptures.
So the Brazilian theater actress and art performer Lígia Cortez wears the clothes and jewelry designed by Alviani demonstrating the wearability of a work of art and the effect of optical illusion experienced by the viewers. On May 8, the inaugural performance was opened with a lecture by the Italian art critic Vittorio Sgarbi, who illustrated the reciprocal influences of art, fashion, design, and sound in the continuous flow of Alviani’s creative process.
“I remember when I had the idea of making a dress made of a black square wool cloth wrapping the body and fixed on the breast by a large aluminum disk. Those were the years of achievable, concrete, physical, non-brainy ideas, where quality, portability and perceptive phenomenology had great importance and it was on these projects that I focused my interests. I wished be able to realize what looked right to me: vivacity or solemnity of a body, immobility or movement, sensuality or detachment, through a design, a color, with the mastery of means, techniques, and the good knowledge of materials. Things still valid today but very distant, perhaps because they are too subtle. Then the presentation of a dress was not an appearance but an emanation of a thought, a concept. Today, if I were asked to design fabrics and clothes, I’d either repeat those I’ve already made giving it the old date, or I’d design them in the most advanced way, as it used to be then, trying to see the future logically. Even fashion, like everything we do and produce, should always be the result of the union between the maximum knowledge of the “state of things” and the most advanced, progressive, and evolved idea. These components make objects right, letting them become the document of positive contemporaneity.” – Getulio Alviani, 1965
Palazzo Barbaro, Venice
From May 9 to June 30
To get your appointment send an email to [email protected] or call +39 02 50043677