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Almir Mavignier

ALMIR DA SILVA MAVIGNIER was born in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) in 1925. The experimental orientation of kinetic and concrete art found much attention in Latin America and constituted a cultural link with European rationalism. Mavignier was considerably influenced by his studies in Germany, at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Ulm between 1953 and 1958. His line of research was determined by Max Bense’s aesthetics of information, Josef Alber’s study of the proportionality of color, and the concepts of Max Bill. In 1954 he produced his first work conceived as an assembly of points on a surface: a series of geometrically ordered points constitutes a pattern which has the function of determining a vibrating chromatic surface by means of a purely optical combination of color which, by optically moving the plane in depth, makes the surface vibrate. On this principle he developed the “Permutations,” which consist in infinite variants of the texture-background chromatic relationship. His “Deformed Squares” represented a parallel minimal investigation into form. In 1955 he started designing posters for exhibitions and Swissair’s Brazilian services; graphic work became an integral part of his work, inseparable from his pure research, given that the quality of the images consists in the different intensity of the informative charge. Frequent in Mavignier’s work is the use of materials unusual in constructive art, as gold and silver pigments to obtain effects of oscillation and of perceptive ambiguity. In 1958 he was one of the founders of “Group 0″ in Dusseldorf and in 1961 he promoted the “Nove Tendencije” exhibition in Zagabria. Since 1960 he has taken part in many group exhibitions. His work was shown at the “Konkrete Kunst, 50 Jahre Entwicklung” exhibition at Zurich; at the Venice Biennial from 1964 to 1968, and at Dokumenta 3 and 4 in Kassel; at “The Responsive Eye” exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1965; and at the “World and Image” exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1968. In 1981 a comprehensive exhibition of his posters was held at the Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg and at the Deutsche Plakat Museum in Essen. He has had numerous personal exhibitions and publications of his graphic work. In 1983 his work was included in the “L’ultima avanguardia” exhibition at the Palazzo Reale in Milan. Mavignier has always been interested in the didactic-pedagogic aspect of visual research, and consequently in teaching. He considers the school-art binomial the logical result of contemporary artistic research. He teaches at the “Hochschule fur Bildende Kunst” in Hamburg.