Art | August 26, 2022 |

Varisco Palazzo Reale 002
Image Courtesy Archivio Varisco and Palazzo Reale Milano | Photo Thomas Libis

Grazia Varisco Contemporary Path 1957-2022
Palazzo Reale, Milan
June 22 – September, 16 2022

From 22 June to 16 September 2022, Palazzo Reale in Milan will host the anthological exhibition titled Grazia Varisco – Percorsi Contemporanei 1957-2022 dedicated to this remarkable Milanese artist, a protagonist on the Italian contemporary art scene. The exhibition is promoted and produced by Comune di Milano | Cultura, Palazzo Reale and Archivio Varisco. It will comprise over one hundred and fifty works, illustrating the research and experimentation conducted in a life dedicated to art making this the most important exhibition on her oeuvre to date. The project, curated by Marco Meneguzzo, documents and presents over sixty years’ work by the artist, an exceptional player in the field of visual arts, internationally recognised as an important personality in our modern world. It offers insights into the rich and complex universe of themes and formal experimentation that hallmarked her artistic career. The exhibition brings together a valuable selection of works that in the spacious and prestigious halls of Palazzo Reale, exemplify laxity and variety of the areas of research on which Grazia Varisco worked.

Varisco Palazzo Reale 028
Image Courtesy Archivio Varisco and Palazzo Reale Milano | Photo Thomas Libis

The exhibition sequence presents the themes of the artist’s work subdivided according to the type of experience. The Materici (Material works, 1957-1959) are her earliest works dating to the 1950s, made during her studies at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts, as a reaction against figurative art. The Tavole Magnetiche (Magnetic Plates, 1959-1962), the earliest works linked to the formation of T Group – in which Grazia Varisco played an important role, along with Anceschi, Boriani, Colombo and De Vecchi – highlight the artist’s particular interest in the depiction of space-time and her great involvement in the dynamics of play, the elements of chance and programme executed using unconventional forms of expression.

Varisco Palazzo Reale 004
Image Courtesy Archivio Varisco and Palazzo Reale Milano | Photo Thomas Libis

These works are followed by her artistic experiences from the mid-1960s, when Grazia Varisco was exploring the interpretation of moving images and the perception of space and time as phenomena in a state of continuous flux. With the Schemi luminosi variabili (Variable Luminous Schemes, 1962-1969) presented at the Venice Biennale on three different occasions, including the 2022 edition, Varisco experiments with materials totally outside the conventions of artistic production, such as blue methacrylate, electric motors and neon light, to create constantly changing images. In the works Reticoli frangibili (Breakable nets), Mercuriali (Mercurials), Variabili+Quadrionda (Variables+Four-wave) created between 1965 and 1971, the artist uses industrial glass and its properties of refraction and deformation as an element of image deconstruction that changes with every movement of the observer.

Varisco Palazzo Reale 027
Image Courtesy Archivio Varisco and Palazzo Reale Milano | Photo Thomas Libis

In the exhibition‘s largest hall there is a re-edition of the historic solo show held at the Schwarz Gallery in Milan in 1969, which constituted an important moment of synthesis for the kinetic art period while opening up to the environmental and participatory experiences of the 1970s, such as the “Campo Urbano” (Urban Field) event in Como. In fact, the spacious halls of Palazzo Reale host the complete reconstruction of the environment Dilatazione spaziotemporale di un percorso (Space – time dilation of a path), a completely dark space with sloping, curved and irregular walls, within which a point of intense light moves along the surfaces, deforming and changing speed according to the inclination and deformation of the planes.

Varisco Palazzo Reale 014
Image Courtesy Archivio Varisco and Palazzo Reale Milano | Photo Thomas Libis

The artistic developments of the 1970s were hallmarked by reflections on the theme of Chance, and on uncalculated events as a subject of enquiry. In the series Extrapagine (Extrapages, 1973-1986), Spazio potenziale (Potential Space, 1974-1976), Meridiana (Sundial, 1974) and Gnomoni (Gnomons, 1975-1982) the artist rediscovers a growing interest in the area of anomaly and the unexpected, which is opposed to programming and shows a spontaneous shift towards the experience of three – dimensionality. The 1980s and 1990s saw the artist’s progressively growing interest in abstraction , purity and the simplification of form, with more far-reaching experiments. From the tilted and poised folds of the Duetti (Duets, 1986-1989) to the sculpture Oh! (1997), the artist’s works occupy space without cluttering it, acting as unexpected elements inviting the visitor to reflect on the perception of space and volume.

Varisco Palazzo Reale 012
Image Courtesy Archivio Varisco and Palazzo Reale Milano | Photo Thomas Libis

The works made in the new millennium reveal Grazia Varisco‘s exploration of new forms linked to change and the ambiguity of perception, involving the viewer in a continuous interaction between programme and chance. Works such as Silenzi (Silences, 2005), created from the reuse of passe – part outs found as ready-mades in the picture framer’s workshop, and Quadri Comunicanti (Communicating Pictures, 2008), in which the artist explores the delicate and unstable balance between space and volume, show a desire to suggest a form of perceptual amusement, where rules and chaos interact in a constant aspiration for research and experimentation, which constitutes the principal leitmotif of Grazia Varisco’s work. The exhibition Grazia Varisco Percorsi Contemporanei 1957-2022 is produced with support from Intesa Sanpaolo and Italmobiliare. A catalogue published by Skira will be compiled for the occasion.


Varisco Palazzo Reale 008
Image Courtesy Archivio Varisco and Palazzo Reale Milano | Photo Thomas Libis

Are you an artist, architect, designer? Would you like to be featured on ITSLIQUID platform? Send an e-mail to or fill the form below



    Art | October 2, 2023

    Gladstone Gallery is pleased to announce bright light shining, an exhibition by Ugo Rondinone. For this show, the artist presents new, large-scale sculptures along with an interconnected body of work, which act as building blocks of the perfect storm. Read more


    Art | September 28, 2023

    Triennale Milano and Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain present, from June 22 to October 29, 2023, the exhibition Siamo Foresta, created under the artistic direction of anthropologist Bruce Albert and Artistic Managing Director of the Fondation Cartier Hervé Chandés, in a special exhibition design conceived by Brazilian artist Luiz Zerbini. Read more


    Art | September 27, 2023

    Friday 9 June, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark opens its big summer exhibition with Iceland's Ragnar Kjartansson (b. 1976). Read more


    Art | September 11, 2023

    From April 01 through September 18, 2023, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection presents Edmondo Bacci: Energy and Light, organized by Chiara Bertola, Curator and Manager of Contemporary Art Projects, Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice. Read more

    Sign up for our Newsletter.

    Enter your email to receive our latest updates!