Gianni Colombo, Milan 1937 - 1993 Milan

  • Gianni Colombo

    Milan 1937 - 1993 Milan

A key figure in the development of Kinetic art in the 1950s and 1960s, Gianni Colombo worked in a diverse range of media, including painting, sculpture, furniture design, and light installation. A founder of the art movement Gruppo T, Colombo believed art must be dynamic and participatory, and aimed to create works and interactive spaces that eliminated static boundaries dividing painting, sculpture, and architecture. In 1968, Colombo won first prize at the Venice Biennale with Spazio Elastico (Elastic Space), an interactive piece in which viewers enter a darkened room and are confronted by a shifting cube of luminescent elastic strings. This would become his most famous work. Throughout his career, Colombo was interested in perception, specifically the perception of a reality understood in terms of continual change. In an age of cybernetics, systems theory, and feedback, Colombo approached art in terms of the interaction between objects and viewer in an ongoing feedback loop. Deploying simple mechanisms and materials, Colombo’s objects make a crucial point: art that thinks about contemporary technology need not fully embrace that technology. 


Gianni Colombo
Spazio Elastico Intermutabile, Due Doppi Quadrati Incompiuti (Intermutable Elastic Space, Two Incomplete Double Squares), 1979
Wood, paint, nails, elastic metal cord
91.2 x 91.2 cm (35 7/8 x 35 7/8 in.)