Issue 19, Summer 1958
Gian Berto Vanni was born in Rome in 1927. He first studied to be an architect but turned early to painting. His talent was immediately recognized and he received scholarships for travel to Holland and to America where he studied with Josef Albers at Yale. His first exhibition, given last year at the Gallery Schneider in Rome, was highly praised; his second will be presented this November at the Trabia Gallery in New York, where he now lives. Of Vanni, the noted French editor and writer, André Bay has said.
The son of a professor of biology, Vanni often gazed through his father's microscope at the world of the living cell. This world, both geometric and dynamic, was one of the sources of his inspiration. The fragile constructions of his pen seem like precise notations of the visible, rising from the impenetrable whiteness of the infinitely small. Later, Vanni spins his delicate crystallography out into the night sky—the microscope is joined by the telescope, and the observer seems to see in these drawings familiar images threatened by nothingness and measureless space. Constantly developing, his work reveals the transmutation of original perceptions and values into an authentic art of great promise.
Vanni has said of his art, "I will be happy if my paintings carry with them no single emotion or effect—all emotions or none. The result should be an organized bundle of forms at once dynamic and immobile, never without a sense of enchantment."