Alviani X Ancient,” a new exhibition featuring a dazzling display of abstract art and jewelry by Getulio Alviani (1939-2018), a key figure in Zero, and Optical, in dialogue with antiquities from three millennia. The most exclusive of Alviani’s works will be on view, including never before shown artworks from his private estate and some only displayed in the most prestigious institutions. “Alviani X Ancient” will be on view at 38 East 70th Street which ends Sunday, May 22, 2022.
The exhibition, a luminous play of light, metal, and stone from across continents and centuries, features Alviani’s radical abstract sculptures and statement jewelry from the 1960s to the 1980s, alongside works by ancient creators who manifested a similar approach to form, space, and motion. The display includes several key examples of Alviani’s “vibratile textured surfaces,” a term coined by Italian poet and critic Carlo Belloli to describe the artist’s metal forms that appear to be in perpetual movement.
Other works that showcase Alviani’s experimental approaches include Rilievo speculare a elementi curvi (1962-64), a dramatic symphony of interwoven steel forms that is nearly three feet high; positivo – negativo model (1962-64), eye-tricking stripes created from red and green enameled iron; cerchi virtuali (1967), lyrical circular sculptures in steel, and works in wood and steel painted red, yellow, and blue.
Spanning the Cycladic and Bronze ages to classical Greece and Rome, the ancient works on view create suggestive correspondences with Alviani’s art.
Particularly striking is the dialogue between Alivani’s jewels, with their dynamic circular shapes, and the elaborate “spiral” fibulae, created with bronze wire during the European Bronze Age (late 2nd – early 1st millennium B.C.). A gray marble bowl, precisely carved by a Cycladic artist (Early Cycladic II, middle of the 3rd millennium B.C.), communes with Alviani’s mesmerizing aluminum disc, created 1965.
About Getulio Alviani
Born in Udine, Italy, in 1939, Alviani was a key figure in the Zero group, along with other global postwar movements that explored abstraction and perception. Fascinated by optical effects — he wrote an influential manifesto that investigated space and form between the eye and the object — Alviani worked with mostly metal, but also with wood, water, and fire, using a mix of hand-crafting, technological advances, and conceptual formulas. He’s best known for his shimmering works that are activated by complex light effects that make the surface change continuously, depending on the visual angle.
From its Upper East Side headquarters at 38 East 70th Street, C1760 is committed to promoting innovative, cross-cultural programming and collecting and bridging the worlds of Modern and Contemporary Art with Antiquities and Old Masters.