Since its opening, Galleria Michela Cattai has focused on the study, research and selection of works of Modern and Contemporary Art and Design by some of the most important artists and designers of the twentieth century and brought them together under one roof.

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© 2016 Galleria Michela Cattai


Gianni Colombo


Gianni Colombo was one of the major representatives of kinetic art on an international level. The artist studied at l’Accademia di Brera, where he attended painting classes by Achille Funi and Pomeo Borra. In these years, Gianni Colombo was particularly receptive to the research of Lucio Fontana and the Spazialista movement. Influenced by Lucio Fontana, Gianni Colombo produced abstract works made from mixed materials and monochrome reliefs in wadding, that would later be exhibited at Galleria Azimet di Milano (the gallery where he collaborated with Giovanni Anceschi, Davide Boriani, Enrico Castellani, Gabriele Devecchi, Piero Manzoni). In 1959, Gianni Colombo was amongst the founders of Gruppo T, together with Giovanni Anceschi e Gabriele De Vecchi; the following year they would also unite with Grazia Varisco. Gruppo T designed a daughter art form of the historical avant-garde to the most contemporary research (from Spazialismo toTinguely, passing by Bruno Munari): it was kinetic art, which worked on the nature itself of optical perception, interactive art in which the spectator found themselves as the protagonist. 1960 was the year of the first collective work of Gruppo TMiriorama (a thousand images) with unsigned works of each of the artists in the group. In the same year la Galleria Pater di Milano hosted the first solo work by Gianni ColomboMiriorama 4, in which he exhibited his first kinetic works: Superfici in Variazione and Rilievi Intermutabili, which were activated by direct intervention of the viewer, called to “act” in the first person.Between 1962 and 1965 the components of Gruppo T participated in a travelling exhibition by Bruno Munari: Arte Programmata, an international project which left Italy to land in the UK, Japan, Germany and the USA. Whether together with Gruppo T or working alone, Gianni Colombo focused on works of “filled” space. The aim was to recreate the idea of space, changing the perception of the environment (through kinetic events, often based on the use of light and its effects). Some important settings created by Gianni Colombo include After-Structures (1966), Zoom Squares (1970), and the noted Spazio elastico, with which he won the first prize at Biennale di Venezia in 1968 and which was also presented at Documenta 4, in Kassel. During the 1970s, Gianni Colombo collaborated with Vincenzo Agnetti (for the video Vobulazione e Bioeloquenza negativa, presented at the Triennale di Milano inside the Telemuseo di Tommaso Trini) and together with Livio Castiglioni he directed the film for Total Furnishing Unit (presented at MOMA). In these same years, the work of Gianni Colombo also concentrated on the analysis of architectural languages. He created new “inhabitable” environments, modifying and manipulating some essential elements: arches, columns and inclined surfaces (TopoestesiaBariestesia, for the first time in Galleria Marconi in 1975) he created synaesthetic places in which the viewer is stimulated with an intense perceptual activity. In 1985 Gianni Colombo became director of NABA in Milan. In this period he developed new settings, still working with the concept of “curved space” – from this research, the work Spazio Curvo was born in 1988 (first hosted in Villa Borzino in Busalla and in 1989 atGalleria Turchetto/Plurima di Milano). In 1992 he presented his last environmental work: Spazio diagoniometrico at the Hoffmann Gallery, in Friedberg. L’Archivio Gianni Colombo was founded in Milan, with the intent to present and support the work and thoughts of the artist.