Victor Bonato

1934 in Cologne/Germany – 2019 in Niederkassel/Germany

Victor Bonato – the great master of mirror shaping

With his glass-mirror deformations, Victor Bonato became one of the main protagonists of kinetic art. Since the 1960s, following in the footsteps of the ZERO movement, he has shaped contemporary art with his idiosyncratic glass-mirror deformations. Victor Bonato’s works of art play with the viewer: the deformations reflect the surroundings in a distorted, multiplied or stretched manner depending on the viewing angle. Many of his works can now be seen in public spaces throughout Germany. Victor Bonato’s works of art can be found in many important private and public collections, including the Bonn Art Museum, the Kunsthalle in Malmö, the Kunsthalle Hamburg and the Sprengel Museum in Hanover.


Victor Bonato was born in Cologne in 1934 and, after training as a glass painter, studied first in Cologne and then in the USA. In 1966 he began his freelance work as an artist and became a co-founder of the artist group K-66. Since the end of the 1960s he has been working on deformation of glass mirrors from the perspective of irritating visual and behavioral habits. In 1979 he created three-dimensional mirror objects and glass mirror torsions, and in 1982 he worked on the primal phenomenon of polarity.

In 1987 he received a teaching position in the art and design department at the Bergische Universität-Gesamthochschule Wuppertal. In 1993 he was awarded the August Macke Medal, and two years later the Ida Gerhardi Prize. In 2003, Victor Bonato was awarded the “Artist’s Art Prize” at the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf for his life’s work. Victor Bonato lived and worked in Niederkassel. He died in May 2019, a few days after his 85th birthday, after a long illness.