Lucio Fontana

Work in the collection: Lucio Fontana – Teatrino-Concetto spaziale, perforated aluminum on cardboard, 1950, 49.5 x 49 cm.

The Italian avant-garde artist of the first post-war generation became famous for his crosscuts. With his “Manifesto blanco” the artist called for a departure from conventional materials in art. In his later composed “Manifesto spaziale” he assumed the end of all static art genres, which should be replaced by dynamic art. The work was intended to work solely through the viewer’s imagination, in that it was to be freed “from all painterly and propagandistic rhetoric”. Fontana implemented this new spatial concept by perforating images and thus achieving plasticity instead of a two-dimensional work. The hole pattern was mostly created on monochrome images that lacked a delimitation of the area. Space should be viewed as a “freely unfolding, unlimited continuum” in both painting and sculpture. From then on, the artist named his work “Concetto spaziale” (“spatial concept”). From 1950 he made his first “Buchi” (holes). In these works he cut the canvas. The picture carrier and thus the basic condition of traditional painting were destroyed. With his work he inspired the German artist group ZERO.

Born 1899 in Rosario, Argentina; gest 1968 in Comabbio, Italy
1905 resettlement to Milan
1914-1915 studies at the construction trade school in Milan, graduating with a diploma
1922-1928 Return to Argentina, briefly worked there as an engineer, longer as a sculptor in his father’s studio
1928 Return to Italy, studies at the Accademia de Brera, Milan
1930 first solo exhibition in the “Galleria del Milione”, Milan, participation in the 17th Venice Biennale
1934 Joined the Paris artist group Abstraction-Création
1935 Beginning with ceramic work
1939 settled in Buenos Aires, teaching at the Altamira Art School, which he founded
1946 Initiator of the “Manifesto blanco” (“White Manifesto”), which took up the ideas of Futurism
1947 Return to Milan
The first perforated canvases appeared in the 1950s