By Martina Tanga

Founder of the kinetic art movement “Gruppo ENNE”, Alberto Biasi was born on this day, June 2, 1937 in Padua. He trained in Venice before returning home  for a teaching position. In 1960, together with Manfredo Massironi (b 1937), Biasi founded the collective artist group Gruppo N (or Gruppo Enne) whereby all artworks were conceived and created collectively, with no singular author. Also in the collective were artists Ennio Chiggio (b 1937), Giovanni Antonio Costa (b 1935), Edoardo N. Landi (b 1937). Their practice was in fact rather revolutionary and was modeled on Marxist theories. The group first garnered attention in 1959 when Massironi competed – unsuccessfully – for the Premio San Fedele. He submitted a piece of cardboard that he had selected for what he claimed to be the interesting optical qualities of its surface. The group’s headquarters in Padua quickly became an important center for experimental art, music, and poetry. 

During the 1960s, Gruppo ENNE was important in the development of Op art in Italy. The group was interested in marking art that explored the open-ended optical possibilities of viewership. They created paintings and installations that have surfaces that change in appearance depending on the angle a spectator is perceiving them, giving the illusory sensation of movement. For example, in Gocce, Biasi attempted to create an effect analogous to the patterns caused by drops of water falling on a liquid surface. 

Gruppo ENNE disbanded in 1964 due to internal disputes over their creative process. Biasi continued to work independently, still very much informed by optical interplay and a socially conscious practice. He participated in the 1965 exhibition “The responsive eye“ at the Museum of Modern art, New York. Biasi’s art is in the collection of the National Gallery of Rome, and the Museums of Belgrade, Bolzano, Bratislava, Buenos Aires, Gallarate, Guayaquil, Lodz, Ljubljana, Livorno, Prague, Padua, St. Louis, San Francisco, Tokyo, Turin, Ulm, Venice, Wroclaw , and Zagreb. Biasi continues to work from his home in Padua.

Further Reading:

I. Mussa: Il gruppo enne: La situazione dei gruppi in Europa negli anni 60 (Rome, 1976)

Antologia Alberto Biasi (exh. cat. by D. Banzato and others, Padua, Mus. Civ., 1988)


Trama, 1961, overlaid silkworm breeding papers, Biasi Foundation, Milan

Dinamica Visiva, 1961-67, PVC relief on painted wood panel, Biasi Foundation, Milan

Proiezione di luce e ombra, 1961, perforated tinplate, light and electrical motor, Biasi Foundation, Milan

Gocce, 1967, PVC relief on painted wood panel, Biasi Foundation, Milan

Dinamica, 1968, PVC relief on painted wood panel, Biasi Foundation, Milan 

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