Concetto Spaziale. Forma, 1957
Signed and dated lower right l Fontana /57
Signed, titled and dated on the reverse
l. Fontana / “Concetto Spaziale” / 1957
Aniline, pencil, holes and collage on canvas
100 x 81.2 cm / 39.4 x 32 in
Galleria Blu, Milan;
Private collection, Florence;
Private collection, Milan;
Sotheby’s, London, 5 December 1996, lot 40;
Private collection, Milan.
E. Crispolti – A. Del Guercio (edited by), Burri, Cagli, Fontana, Guttuso, Moreni, Morlotti: Sei Pittori Italiani dagli anni Quaranta ad Oggi, catalogue of the exhibition, Rome 1967, n. 72;
E. Crispolti, Lucio Fontana. Catalogue Raisonné des peintures, sculptures et environments spatiaux, Bruxelles 1974, vol. II, pag. 60; E. Crispolti, Lucio Fontana. Catalogo generale, Milano 1986, vol. I, pag. 207;
B. Corà (edited by), Burri e Fontana, 1949 – 1968, catalogue of the exhibition, Milan 1996, p. 155;
E. Crispolti, Lucio Fontana. Catalogo ragionato di sculture, dipinti, ambientazioni, Milano 2006, vol. I pag. 365, n. 57 I 11.
Arezzo, Galleria Comunale d’Arte – Rome, Istituto Italo – Latino – Americano, Turin, Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna, Burri, Cagli, Fontana, Guttuso, Moreni, Morlotti: Sei Pittori Italiani dagli anni Quaranta ad Oggi, May – June 1967 (Arezzo), June - July 1967 (Roma), July – September 1967 (Torino) n. 72;
Paris, Galleria La Gradiva, Scultori Italiani Contemporanei, 1970, n. 30;
Turin, Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna, Lucio Fontana, February – March 1970, n. 151;
Florence, Galleria Michelucci, Lucio Fontana, February – March 1971, n. 13;
Florence, Centro Tornabuoni, Fontana, October – November 1984;
Prato, Museo Pecci, Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Burri e Fontana, 1949 – 1968, April – June 1996, n. 12;
St. Moritz, Robilant+Voena, Lucio Fontana, 4 December 2015 – 10 January 2016;
New York, Robilant+Voena, Lucio Fontana, 6 – 27 May 2016.
The Inchiostri (inks) represent a particular and experimental period in Fontana’s artistic development. Spanning over a period of four years – 1956 to 1959 - they are characterised by the use of vegetal inks – the so called “aniline”. They are made by perforating the canvas with a conspicuous number of small dots and by the application, in some of the works, of different layers of canvas and a palette of soft tones.
The Inchiostri mark the passage from the works of the mid 50s – the Baroque paintings, characterised by the intense use of oil and other great impact materials such as coloured pebbles and glitters – to the first slashes of 1959. Here Fontana still works with inks and creates compositions with several small slashes that are very close to the general effect of the Inchiostri.
Similar works were exhibited by Fontana in the stunning room he curated for the Venice Biennale of 1958. Their radical and experimental impact was soon perceived by a young Gillo Dorfles, who in the same 1958 (Elementi plastici negative) wrote:
“Even our artist banished the rich colours’ mixture that so often weigh down the canvases of so many contemporary artists, and on purpose he has used the most lean mean […]. Thus he has prepared wide canvases just moiré with delicate tones, and on these wide pale surfaces he traced with an almost magical confidence his signs: thin lines, handwriting strokes, or holes”.
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