Grazia Varisco was born in Milan on October 5, 1937.
She attended the Brera Academy of Fine Arts from 1956 to 1960, where she was a student of Achille Funi.
In 1960 she joined Giovanni Anceschi, Davide Boriani, Gianni Colombo and Gabriele De Vecchi’s Gruppo T, where she participated in exhibitions such as ‘Arte Programmata’ (Milan, 1962), ‘New Tendencies’ (Zagreb, 1963) and the ‘Miriorama’ series (Milan, Genoa, Tokyo, Rome, Padua and Venice, 1960-63), exchanging ideas with Italian and international artists and collectives interested in the field of perception and experimentation.
Since 1966 she continued to work and exhibit autonomously. Between 1961 and 1967 she worked as a graphic designer for the multinational retailer La Rinascente, the architecture and design magazine Abitare, the design company Kartell, and the Milan City Council. In 1969 and 1973 she spent long periods of time in the States, meeting with artists, academics and professors who further contributed to her education. In 1979 she started teaching and from 1981 to 2007 she was Professor of Theory of Perception at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts.
Varisco participated in important national and international exhibitions, including the Venice Biennale (1964 and 1986), the Rome Quadriennale (1973), the Toyama Triennale (1990); ‘Force Fields: Phases of the Kinetic’ (Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona and Hayward Gallery, London, 2000); ‘Beyond Geometry’ (Los Angeles County Museum of Art and at the Pèrez Art Museum Miami, 2004) and ‘Op Art’ (Schirn Kunstalle, Frankfurt,2007); Arte cinetica e programmata at Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna in Rome, 2012.
In 2007 the President of the Italian Republic Giorgio Napolitano awarded her the ‘Presidente della Repubblica Prize for Sculpture’ in Rome.
Varisco’s works are present in many private and public collections, including the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna in Rome, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum of Modern Art in Bologna, the Fundaciòn Museo de Arte Moderno Jesus Soto in Ciudad Bolivar, the Museum Ritter in Waldenbuch, the Museum im Kulturspeicher in Würzburg, the Museo di Villa Croce in Genoa, Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, Fondazione Prada, Gallerie d’Italia and the Museo del Novecento in Milan.
Grazia Varisco lives and works in Milan.