Gerhard von Graevenitz German, 1934-1983



Gerhard Von Graevenitz (b. 1934 Schilde, Germany - d. 1983 Hakpern, Switzerland) started studying economics at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt/Main in 1955-6, moving to the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich, where he studied art until 1961. Together with Jürgen Morschel he edited the magazine nota, (1959–1960) and started the gallery of the same name in Munich (1960/1961) showing solo-exhibitions of Otto Piene, Heinz Mack, Almir Mavignier and François Morellet.


Von Graevenitz was interested in the study and visualisation of phenomena such as movement, light, space, time, structure, randomness and progression. In 1958 he began his white monochrome reliefs (White Structures) with concave and/or convex points or circles on a grid. In 1961, von Graevenitz moved to Paris, where he was involved with Groupe de Recherche d'Art Visuel (GRAV) and shared a studio with Julio Le Parc and was a co-founder of the international movement Nouvelle Tendance. He was engaged with the optical illusion of movement as well as real movement, using invisible motors and mechanics.


He participated in exhibitions such as the Responsive Eye (1965) MOMA, New York and Licht-Kunst-Licht (1966) at Van Abbemuseum /Eindhoven. He sadly died in 1983 as a result of a plane crash in Switzerland. In 2018 the Museum Haus Konstruktiv in Zürich held the first retrospective of the artist for more than 20 years.