Lucio Fontana, Rosario de Santa Fé 1899 - 1968 Comabbio
ProvenanceGalleria d’Arte Medusa, Milan,
Private collection, Milan, until 2018.
LiteratureEnrico Crispolti, L'Avventura Spaziale di Lucio Fontana, exh. cat. Galleria d’Arte Medusa, Milan 1974, p. 22, illustrated.
Anna Coliva, Lucio Fontana: terra e oro, exh. cat. Galleria Borghese, Rome, 2019, pp. 102–3.
ExhibitionsMilan, Galleria d’Arte Medusa, L'Avventura Spaziale di Lucio Fontana, 16 October–24 November 1974.
Rome, Galleria Borghese, Lucio Fontana: terra e oro, 22 May–28 July 2019.
Baroque art played a significant role in Fontana’s philosophy and oeuvre. Between 1953 and 1957, he created a series of Barocchi (Baroque), paintings which unite ideas and techniques of seventeenth-century art with a futuristic exploration of space. Their narrative use of colour and extremes of light and shadow evokes historical Italian precedents, in particular the dramatic chiaroscuro of Caravaggio, which can likewise be found in the present Crucifix. Fontana once noted the role the Baroque played in stirring his vision for an artistic revolution: “A change is necessary both in essence and form. It is necessary to overturn and transform painting, sculpture, and poetry. A form of art is now demanded which is based on the necessity of this new vision. The baroque has guided us in this direction, in all its as yet unsurpassed grandeur, where the plastic form is inseparable from the notion of time, the images appear to abandon the plane and continue into space the movements they suggest. This conception arose from man’s new idea of the existence of things; the physics of that period reveal for the first time the nature of dynamics. It is established that movement is an essential condition of matter as a beginning of the conception of the universe…” (quoted in Lucio Fontana: Venice/New York, exh. cat. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 2006, p. 229). Thus, with the present Crucifix, Fontana expresses, excavates, and celebrates the very foundations of his artistic ambitions.
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