Horacio García – Rossi

Biographical Data

Argentinean artist born in Buenos Aires in 1929 and died in Paris in 2012. After studying at the Buenos Aires School of Fine Arts, Horacio Garcia-Rossi discovered Victor Vasarely’s work at this artist’s exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires in 1958, together with Julio Le Parc, Francisco Sobrino and Hugo Demarco. In 1959, Garcia-Rossi decided to travel to Paris, the city he would never leave. It was at this point that he delved into geometric abstraction through simplified shapes, which he systematically arranged inside regular grids, especially using permutations. He was one of the architects of optical kinetic art in Paris in the early sixties, after giving up paint to devote himself to creating illuminated boxes animated by mechanisms and lit with artificial light, resulting in compositions made from changing, unstable shapes displayed on the side of the box with frosted glass. In 1961, Horacio Garcia-Rossi cofounded GRAV (Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel – The Visual Art Research Group) in Paris along with Julio Le Parc, François Morellet, Francisco Sobrino, Joël Stein and Jean-Pierre Yvaral, with whom he participated in all of the international manifestations that marked the history of this movement.

With his work, Horacio Garcia-Rossi participated in numerous personal exhibitions in Europe as of 1970, the year that he returned to the practice of using paint.

Brief Chronology

Horacio Garcia-Rossi was one of the leading figures to introduce movement in the visual arts of his generation. He created and patented machines that took the place of paintings, equipped with simple mechanisms making the mobile elements inside wooden boxes move and that were lit by integrated luminous devices. The result is seen on the side of the boxes with frosted glass, the real screen performing the changing spectacle created by the combination of mechanical devices hidden to the viewers’ eyes. The declinations are multiple and varied, colors, shapes and sounds are combined, transformed, appearing and disappearing.

Horacio Garcia-Rossi participated in all of GRAV’s manifestations and, especially, in Laberints (premiering at the 1963 Paris Biennial), the exhibition that highlighted the reputation of this group of artists that sought to place the viewer in the center of the creation, to make him or her a part of it and to only be concerned with the visual phenomena.

With the decline of lumino kinetic art, after having occupied first place on the art scene for over a decade, Horacio Garcia-Rossi returned to the practice of painting, with which he continued to explore the voices of light and space.

In 2013, the Stämpfli exhibited Horacio Garcia-Rossi’s work Light Projection of Variable Structures, num. 2 (1966) during the CINETIK! show (27 April to 27 October 2013). This exhibit brought together some of the most important lumino kinetic artists of Spanish and Latin American origin.



Colored light, num. 10, 1987 paint, acrylic on canvas 100 x 100 cm