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Abraham Palatnik: Aparelho Cinecromático (1964)

December 24, 2009

One the works on display in the exhibition “Dimensions of Constructive Art in Brazil – The Adolpho Leirner Collection” at Haus Konstruktiv in Zrich, Switzerland, is Abraham Palatnik’s Aparelho Cinecromático.

Abraham Palatnik is a pioneer of technological art. He was born in natal, Rio Grande do Norte, in 1928, to a family of Russian Jews that had settled there in 1919. When he was four years old, Abraham Palatnik went to Palestine, now Israel, with his family, where he went to school. He went on to take courses in mechanics and physics. Since his early childhood he had been drawing and he spent four years at an atelier studying drawing, painting, and aesthetics. Palatnik returned to Brazil in early 1948 and settled in Rio de Janeiro.

Abraham Palatnik dropped painting to adopt a different technique. He felt sure that using the latest technology, he could bring to “pictorial art the potential of light and motion in time and space”. He built his first two kinechromatic devices as experiments in 1949 and 1950.

In the catalog to the Abraham Palatnik retrospective exhibition at Itau Cultural Sao Paulo in the year 1999, Frederico Morais explains how Palatnik’s kinechromatic devices work: “On a plastic screen covering the front of his devices, he projected colors and forms driven by electric motors, creating a luminous effect with its own timing. Using motors and light bulbs, he replaced paint-as a material dimension-with refracted light. The timing of the lighting was controlled from a console with switches for each lamp. The viewer sees only the colored shapes projected onto the front of the kinechromatic device. Inside there were about 600 meters of electric wires in different colors, linking 101 lamps of varying voltages, rotating several cylinders at varying speeds. Light is projected through a set of lenses and shapes and a prism to refract colors.”

By 1959, Abraham Palatnik had built about twenty kinechromatic devices. He showed them at several Sao Paulo Biennials in 1950s and 1960s. In 1964 Palatnik showed his devices at the Venice Biennale and subsequently in solo and group shows in Europe, the United States and Israel.

Source: Olats.org: Abraham Palatnik: A Pioneer of Technological Art by Frederico Morais.

Haus Konstruktiv: Dimensions of Constructive Art in Brazil – The Adolpho Leirner Collection, Haus Konstruktiv in Zrich, Switzerland. November 18, 2009.

PS: Interview with Abraham Palatnik by Eduardo Kac at Leonardo On-Line: Abraham Palatnik, Pioneer of Kinetic Art.

> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.

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2 Responses to “Abraham Palatnik: Aparelho Cinecromático (1964)”

  1. 26.12.2009A Warhol Christmas at the White House | aaaaarte | Revista crítica de arte Says:
    December 26th, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    [...] -Musées genevois lunettesrouges -Art in Review. Volker Hueller, Lee Friedlander, Zhang Huan NYT -“Dimensions of Constructive Art in Brazil – The Adolpho Leirner Collection” at Haus Konstrukti… vernissage.tv -Damien Hirst’s  “The Dead”, at Triumph Gallery AO -Eva Rothschild at Eva [...]

  2. Del 26.12.2009 al 1.01.2010 | aaaaarte | Revista crítica de arte Says:
    January 5th, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    [...] -Musées genevois lunettesrouges -Art in Review. Volker Hueller, Lee Friedlander, Zhang Huan NYT -“Dimensions of Constructive Art in Brazil – The Adolpho Leirner Collection” at Haus Konstrukti… vernissage.tv -Damien Hirst’s “The Dead”, at Triumph Gallery AO -Eva Rothschild at Eva [...]

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