Gianni Colombo Italian, 1937-1993


Gianni Colombo is one of the most important artist in Italy in experiencing kinetic art, and a member of the Arte Programmata moviment.


Between ’59 and ’60 he founded the “T Group”, linked to the international movement of “Nouvelle Tendence”. He held his first solo show at the Galleria Pater in Milan in 1960.

He experiences in different fields of physics, including electrical and magnet devices, industrial neon lights and laser, all to exhalt the aesthetic potential of technological rationalism.  In the 1960s he made experimental films, kinetic objects and enviroments. 


In 1985 Colombo becomes director of the Brera Academy where he teaches the “structuration of space”. He also takes part in avant-garde scenography (Operstheater of Frankfurt, 1986) and in designing virtual architectures (the “Architetture cacogoniometriche” in 1988, the “Spazi curvi”, 1992).

Colombo was the winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale in 1968.


Gianni Colombo was born at Milan on 1st January 1937. Between 1956 and 1959 he studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan. During his last year at the academy he was co-founder of the "Gruppo T". Works that examined the effects of different materials, surfaces and colors came into existence, additionally, Colombo worked on light projections and kinetic objects. As of 1960 his art was shown in solo and group shows in Genoa, Padua, Venice and Rome, but also internationally, for instance at the Minami Art Gallery in Tokyo.


From 1964 on Colombo developed his first kinetic walk-in spatial concepts which he showed, among others, in the exhibition "Nouvelle Tendance" in Paris. By means of light projections and elastic fluorescent strings he makes the dynamic room perceptible for the observer both visually as well as on a tactile level. Owed to their variability, he calls these spatial concepts "Spazio elastico". The objective of Colombo's works is to persuade the observer to actively participate in his works. In 1985 Gianni Colombo became director of the Nuova Accademia in Milan. In 2009 the first retrospective was shown at the Castello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea in Milan. In 2010 another retrospective followed at the Galleria del Ponte in Florence and in 2016 he eventually had his first solo show in the USA at Greene Naftali in New York. Colombo‘s works are in possession of many renowned private collections and museums, among them the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Prada Foundation and the Museo del Novecento in Milan.


Gianni Colombo died in Melzo, Italy on 3rd February 1993.

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