[1932, Argentina - 2019, France]
Antonio Asis began studying art at the Escuela Nacional 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, 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, 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 DYNAMO: A Century of Light and Movement in Art, 1913-2013, Grand Palais, Paris, France (2013); Antonio Asis: Un Universo Vibrante, Museo Nacional de Tres de Febrero, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2012); Real/Virtual: Arte Cinético argentino de los años sesenta, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2012); Los Cinéticos, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain (2007); Cinétisme, Spectacle, Environnement, Maison de la Culture, Grenoble, France (1968); and Lumiere et Mouvement, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France (1967).
Asis’s works are represented in numerous collections, including Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO), Miami, FL, USA; Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges 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 Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain; Museo Nacional Tres de Febrero (MUNTREF), Buenos Aires, Argentina; and The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), Houston, Texas, USA.
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), Houston, TX, USA