Atmosphere Chromoplastique N.312, 1973

Wood, oil, and color acrylic
37 3/8 x 37 3/8 x 2 3/8 in. (95 x 95 x 6 cm.)

Luis Tomasello attended the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes Prilidiano Pueyrredn (1932-1938) and the Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes de la Nacin Ernesto de la Crcova (1940-1944), both in Buenos Aires. His earliest painting were figurative based on Cezanne’s style, but by the end of the 1940s his work had become geometric. In 1951, he made his first trip to Europe and became interested there in avant-garde geometric abstraction. Upon returning to Buenos Aires, he co-founded the Asociacin Arte Nuevo (1955).

In 1957, Tomasello settled in Paris, where he made his first two-dimensional kinetic works. based on repetitions of white, black, and gray squares. From these works he moved on to the creation of reliefs in 1960, when he replaced the squares with cubes that adhered to the surface, allowing him to construct a series of orthogonal structures. The sides of the cubes were painted in pastel or fluorescent colors that, according to the illumination and the angle in which the piece was observed, produced a generally white surface, a reflection the artist called “color-sensation.” When this reflection was combined with the repetition of the cubical forms, a virtual movement took place, thanks to the rhythmical combinations of lights and shades. Tomasello titled these compositions Atmosphres chromoplastiques, and soon after he expanded his modular elements to other polyhedral and cylindrical forms. In Paris he became involved with the circle of kinetic artists and joined the movement Nouvelle Tendance. During the 1960s, he exhibited at the Galerie Denise Ren and participated in the most important group optical and kinetic art exhibitions of the period.

Tomasello began, in 1971, to integrate his work into architecture with the construction of the monumental Mural cromoplstico for the building San Pedro de Guadalajara (Mexico), followed by the Mural lumino -acstico for the Palais des Congres (Porte Maillot, Paris, France, 1973), Atmosphre chromoplastique for the Fantin-Latour College (Grenoble, France, 1974), Mural cromoplstico in Val-de-Reuil (France, 1979), and Chromoplastic Mural for the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Kansas City, Missouri, United States, 2011). Natural light, ideal for Tomasello’s work to work to its fullest extent, produced an wide range of kinetic effects.

During the 1970s, Tomasello developed the series Object plastique, which was similar to Atmosphres chromoplastique but with a greater emphasis on the use of the color. At the start of the following decade, he created a new series of Atmosphres chromoplastiques, in which cracks on a black surface, in the absence of light, gave rise to an absolute black. In the same decade, he produced Elogios del tres (1980) and Negro el 10 (1984), two book-objects that included poems by Julio Cortzar accompanied by linographs and serigraphs. Tomasello continued his investigation into the reflection of light through his series Atmosphres chromoplastiques and Objets plastiques.

Luis Tomasello lives and works in Paris.