Playing With Perception: Grazia Varisco

Awareness through the senses

By La Galleria Nazionale

Sferisterio (1960) by Varisco GraziaLa Galleria Nazionale

"We are aware of the world and everything around us through the senses that inform our body".
In this way Grazia Varisco explains one of the main themes of her entire artistic career: sensory perception.

Grazia Varisco was born in Milan 1937 and here she studied and works as an artist, but also as a graphic designer.

Together with some of her schoolmates from the Brera Academy of Fine Arts, she formed Gruppo T, a research group on new artistic possibilities focused on the perception and interaction of the viewer with the work of art.

Spazi luminosi variabili (1963) by Varisco GraziaLa Galleria Nazionale

In the 1960s, Grazia Varisco presented the Tavole Magnetiche (Magnetic Tables), some intermediate installations between painting and sculpture that are inspired by a childhood memory: as a child, Grazia played with a magnetic landscape, a toy made up of small magnetic elements to be adhered to metal surfaces.

Sferisterio is just one of these installations: on a black vertical surface are placed half-spheres, held by magnets.

The spheres can be moved by the artist, but also by the spectator, who is invited to move them, because in these works Grazia uses the game as a tool of knowledge.

Schema luminoso variabile n. 2 (1962-1965) by Varisco GraziaLa Galleria Nazionale

“The public becomes an artist with me; like me; touches, moves, acts, tests, experiments and knows".

In 1962 she began her experimentation on Arte programmata (Programmed Art) i.e. works of art that sometimes use very simple mechanisms such as small engines.

In doing so, Grazia Varisco introduces innovative and technological materials, extraneous to the world of art until then, but her interest is not in the technology or the materials themselves, but in the new relationship that the work creates with the public.

Schema Luminoso Variabile is a wooden structure inside which the blue light of a neon is filtered through transparent surfaces with two different patterns that rotate with different speeds, in this way luminous patterns are drawn in constant movement.

Light effects that attract the visitor's gaze and play with his attention and his senses.

Credits: All media
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