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Biography

ANTONIO ASIS
[1932, Argentina - 2019, France]

Antonio Asis began studying art at the Escuela de Bellas Artes when he was 14 years old. Subsequently, at the Escuela de Bellas Artes Prilidiano Pueyrredón, he studied composition with Héctor Cartier, who encouraged the young artist to explore the principles of design as a foundation for his work. The class was influential for Asis, as were the after-class conversations with his classmates which continued at the Bar Splendid, a local café at the intersection of Ayacucho and la Avenida Las Heras in Buenos Aires. Throughout the 1940s, Asis explored abstraction and non-representational art; with the publication of Arturo magazine in 1944 and the creation of the Asociación Arte Concreto-Invención (AACI), Buenos Aires was an important site for the development of post-war abstraction, and Asis was an active member of this creative community.

 

In the spring of 1956, Asis moved to Paris where he soon became part of an international circuit of kinetic artists. Among others, he befriended Yaacov Agam, Nicolas Schöffer, Jesús Rafael Soto, Jean Tinguely, and Victor Vasarely. Surrounded by this dynamic milieu, he began a series of work in which he considered how the phenomenon of light could be mediated through photography. Shortly afterward, he began to study vibrations between colors and the many possibilities within monochromatic compositions. He also began working on his iconic series of perforated metal plates superimposed over painted surfaces. The combination of the metal “grille” and the geometric compositions of circles and squares create a surface that seems to change and move as the viewer changes position. Like many of his Rioplatense colleagues, Asis was deeply influenced by the ideas of Max Bill and Georges Vantongerloo, important artists and theorists of European abstraction.  In 1971, Asis co-founded an artist group, Groupe Position, which included Carlos Agüero, Armando Durante, Hugo Demarco, and Horacio García Rossi, all Argentine artists living in Paris, and all interested in movement and the vibrations of light. 

Asis’s works have been shown in numerous important exhibitions, including On and Off the Grid, The Drawing Room, East Hampton, New York, USA (2021); Paintings on Paper 1960-76, The Drawing Room, East Hampton, New York, USA (2017);Hommage à Antonio Asis, Espace Meyer Zafra, Paris, France (2009); Estudio Actual, Caracas, Venezuela (1971); Galerie J. & J. Donguy, Paris, France (1983); Galerie Krebs, Bern, Switzerland (1970); Antonio Asis: Interferencias Celestes, Galerie N Mariño, Paris, France (2011); Expression visuelle, Galleria Arte Struktura, Milan, Italy (1995); Galleria La Polena, Genoa, Italy (1975);DYNAMO: A Century of Light and Movement in Art, 1913-2013, Grand Palais, Paris, France (2013); Atelier Antonio Asis, Oeuvres des années 50 à 70, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, France (1989); Untitled Booth D5, KaBe Contemporary, Miami, Florida, USA (2016);Maison de la Culture, Rennes, France (1972); Cinétisme, Spectacle, Environnement, Maison de la Culture de Grenoble (MC2), France (1968); Lumière et Mouvement, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France (1967); Antonio Asis: Un Universo Vibrante,Museo de la Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero (MUNTREF), Caseros, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina (2012); The Illusive Eye, El Museo del Barrio, New York City, New York, USA (2016); Los Cinéticos, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (MNCARS), Madrid, Spain (2007); and Real/Virtual: Arte Cinético argentino de los años sesenta, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2012).

Asis’s works are represented in numerous collections, including Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO), Miami, Florida, USA; Musée National d’Art Moderne - Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Latinoamericano (MACLA), La Plata, Argentina; Museo de Arte Moderno Jesús Soto, Ciudad Bolívar, Venezuela; Museo de la Solidaridad Salvador Allende (MSSA), Santiago, Chile; Museo de la Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero (MUNTREF), Caseros, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (MNCARS), Madrid, Spain; and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), Texas, USA.

Selected Exhibitions

2022
Synergies: Geometric Art, Doral Contemporary Art Museum (DORCAM), Miami, FL, USA
Kinetic Perceptions in Latin America, Simões de Assis, Curitiba, Brazil

2021
Unframed, Sicardi | Ayers | Bacino, Houston, TX, USA

2020
“Color into Light,” Connecting Currents: Contemporary Art at the Fine Arts Museum Houston in the inaugural installation of the Nancy and Rich Kinder Building, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), TX, USA
Dialogues, Sicardi | Ayers | Bacino, Houston, TX, USA
The Grid in Modern Latin American Art, Sicardi | Ayers | Bacino, Houston, TX, USA

2019
Vértigo: Geometría e Inestabilidad, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Buenos Aires (MACBA), Argentina

2018
The Drawing Room, East Hampton, NY, USA

2017    
Paintings on Paper 1960-76, The Drawing Room, New York, NY, USA

2016    
Untitled Booth D5, KaBe Contemporary, Miami, FL, USA
The Illusive Eye, El Museo del Barrio, New York, NY, USA 

2015    
Cercles Concentriques 1661-2011, The Drawing Room, East Hampton, NY, USA

2014
Antonio Asis: Geometría Libre, Sicardi Gallery, Houston, TX, USA
Antonio Asis: Selected Work 1970-2003, The Drawing Room, East Hampton, NY, USA

2013
Antonio Asis: From Color to Motion, KaBe Contemporary, Miami, FL, USA 
Antonio Asis, Espace Meyer Zafra, Paris, France
Circulos Cromaticos, Galeria Freijo Fine Art, Madrid, Spain 
Antonio Asis, RCM Galerie, Paris, France 

2012
Antonio Asis: Un Universo Vibrante, Museo Nacional de Tres de Febrero (MUNTREF), Buenos Aires, Argentina

2011
Antonio Asis: Interferencias Celestes, Galerie N. Mariño, Paris, France 

2009
Galerie Nerry Mariño, Paris, France
Hommage à Antonio Asis, Espace Meyer Zafra, Paris, France

2007
Chromatic Energies, Sicardi Gallery, Houston, TX, USA 

1995
Expression visuelle, Galleria Arte Struktura, Milan, Italy and Galerie Claude Dorval, Paris, France 

1989
Atelier Antonio Asis, Oeuvres des années 50 à 70, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, France 

1984
Centre de Recherche Artistique Contemporaine, Verifica 8+, Venice, Italy

1983
Galerie J. & J. Donguy, Paris, France 
Galleria d’Arte Santostefano, Sarnico, Italy

1975
Galleria la Polena, Genova, Italy 

1972
Maison de la Culture, Rennes, France 

1971
Estudio Actual, Caracas, Venezuela 

1970
Galerie Krebs, Bern, Switzerland 

Selected Public Collections

Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO), Miami, FL, USA

Collection Jean et Colette Cherqui, Paris, France

Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France

Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Latinoamericano (MACLA), La Plata, Argentina

Museo de Arte Moderno de Caracas, Caracas, Venezuela

Museo de Arte Moderno Jesús Soto, Ciudad Bolívar, Venezuela

Museo de la Solidaridad Salvador Allende (MSSA), Santiago, Chile

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain

Museo Nacional de Nicaragua, Managua, Nicaragua

Museo Nacional Tres de Febrero (MUNTREF), Buenos Aires, Argentina

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), TX, USA