Getulio Alviani (born in Udine in 1939) has been a leading exponent of kinetic art or “programmed art” since the 1960s. The elemental concepts of light and energy lie at the foundation of a conceptual approach that expresses itself in a programmatic reorganization of reality, in turn generating visual structures based on elementary geometrical relationships, and this is the basis of optical/kinetic art. Figurative artists were already experimenting with the possibilities and means of reproducing movement through optical/pictorial or technical/mechanical effects as early as the mid 1800s, but from the late 1950s onwards this line of research finally began to place the viewer centre-stage, offering us the possibility to modify works of art via our own physical presence. The relationship between artwork and viewer becomes interactive, thanks to the fact that the image mutates or shifts in the spatial context experienced by the viewer. Alongside Alviani, the other major Italian exponents of kinetic art were Bruno Munari, Alberto Biasi and Gianni Colombo.
Promoting and putting into practice the idea of a connection between art, architecture, design and engineering, and further developing the rigorously analytical form of experimentation already begun by Max Bill, right from the start Alviani’s work combined art and technology. His very earliest work included drawings of overhead electric wires; he then went on to discover the materials that have come to characterize his entire oeuvre – above all steel and aluminium. Alongside his work with sheet metal he began to play with the possibilities offered by the contrast of black and white, and then in the 1970s he also began to use colour, this too connected with a Utopian idea of geometrical progression and the notion of energy.
Alviani’s creativity has never been confined to the art world, but has also found room for expression in fields as diverse as fashion (for example, his textile designs, produced for a felicitous collaboration with the Milanese designer – and Paolo Scheggi’s aunt – Germana Marucelli), boat design, engineering projects, industrial design and advertising. All approached with an innovative spirit applied to an apparently limitless range of experiments that have resulted in unconventional and unexpected forms of creative expression.