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  • Concetto Spaziale
  • Guerrieri
  • Concetto Spaziale Cratere
  • Frammento di specchiera con testina

The Italian artist Lucio Fontana was born in Rosario di Santa Fé in Argentina in 1899. He attended the Istituto Tecnico Carlo Cattaneo in Milan in 1914. He served in World War I in 1917, but he was dismissed after only one year because of an injury. This way he was able to complete his engineering studies. In 1922, he was back in Rosario where he worked in his father’s studio, that was mainly focused on funerary sculpture. In 1924, he established his own studio in Rosario di Santa Fé. He came back to Milan in 1928, to study sculpture at the Accademia di Brera with Adolfo Wildt. In this period Fontana’s work was mainly focused on sculpture and ceramic. In 1934, along with Fausto Melotti, Atanasio Soldati and Mauro Reggiani, he joined the Paris artists group “Abstraction-Création”. The following year, he had his first solo show in Milan, at Galleria del Milione, featuring many abstract pieces. In 1939, he went back to Argentina, where in 1946 he founded the private academy of Altamira. He and his students at the academy composed the “Manifesto Blanco” (white manifesto), demanding the synthesis of artistic genres and the renunciation of traditional materials. It is in this moment that the definition of Concetto spaziale, which plays a key role in his art, is mentioned for the first time. Back in Milan in 1947, he founded the Movimento spaziale, whose principles were defined in “Primo Manifesto dello Spazialismo”, demanding a new form of space-oriented art. Two years later he realised the projects Ambiente nero and the first Ambiente spaziale in Galleria del Naviglio: objects painted with fluorescent colours in a dark room are illuminated by an ultraviolet light. In 1949, he executed his first perforated canvases, which all carry the title of Concetto spaziale. These works are characterised by the motive of the Buchi (holes) and they are the first attempt of the artist to go beyond the illusionism of the flat canvas. In the following years, Fontana further investigated this topic, developing new visual solutions. In the series of the Pietre he used coloured stones and glasses to elevate the pictorial surface in the third dimension. In 1958, he started the Tagli (cuts) in the Attese serie, where he slashed monochrome painted canvases, which became the most renown of his entire production. He also used the cuts on bronze sculptures, such as the Natura serie. In his later years he worked on the series La fine di Dio, where he cuts an oval format; Teatrini, works framed by a wooden board that reproduces a theatrical set; and the Elissi, sculptures in painted metal. Lucio Fontana died in Comabbio in 1968.