German sculptor and experimental artist, born at Schilde, Mark Brandenburg. After reading economics at Frankfurt University he studied art at the Munich Academy from 1957 to 1961. In the early 1960s he began to make Kinetic pictures in which geometrical shapes were given random movement by electric motors. Later in the decade he developed ‘light objects’ in which movable aluminium parts were made to reflect light in constantly changing patterns. He conceived such work as an attempt to go beyond Constructivism in the creation of a new art form and wrote in the catalogue of the exhibition ‘Kinetics’ at the Hayward Gallery, London, in 1970: ‘My kinetic objects are visual objects. The elements are simple and geometric. Kinetic objects are not traditional sculptures set in motion. Motion means the changing of the network of relationships which defines the structure in space and time. Kinetic art is not a new style but a new art in the sense that it establishes a new object-spectator relationship.’ Graevenitz died in an aeroplane crash in Switzerland, while taking aerial photographs of a work by Daniel Buren.
From A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art in Oxford Reference.