Immaterial: Fontana CeramicsLondon
Concetto Spaziale, 1960
Signed and dated lower right "l. fontana" This work is registered at Fondazione Lucio Fontana under number 2776/2
Diameter 49 cm
ProvenanceMilano, collezione privata
LiteratureM. Valsecchi, Ceramiche di Fontana, catalogo della mostra, Galleria Pater, Milano, 1962, tav. 11.
ExhibitionsMilano, Galleria Pater, Ceramiche di Fontana, 7 febbraio 1962.
“It is difficult to talk about Lucio Fontana since it is not clear whether he is more sculptor than painter or vice versa, since his brilliance is limitless, since he is arguably one of the greats, since he holds a great deal of promise, in spite of his age. Perhaps it is we who are at fault as we do not possess an imagination powerful enough to keep up with him.” (L. Venturi, Biennale di Venezia. La sconfitta degli anziani, in L’Espresso, Rome 22nd June 1958) Lucio Fontana was one of the most multifaceted of contemporary artists, moving fluidly from the canvas to ceramic work, and from environments to terracotta, as demonstrated by this Concetto Spaziale from 1960. As in previous years, the artist had set himself to creating Concetti Spaziale and here again, the act of piercing the surface is visible in all its glory. He shapes the terracotta and in so doing, creates a new spatial dimension. In the act of tearing the surface, Fontana is well aware of the potentiality of what lies beyond the physical support. The infinite he seeks to investigate echoes the words written in 1819 by Giacomo Leopardi, who is considered by many as the most radical and challenging thinker of 19th century: And like the wind Through these trees I hear rustling, I keep comparing that infinite silence to this voice. More than a century later a dialogue is established which overcomes all spatial and temporal barriers, by Fontana who is considered the most radical and innovative artist of the 20th century. A bridge links one man’s poetics to the artistic research of another. Fontana is one of many explorers of the cosmos, yet he contributes an original perspective with his myriad personal cyphers. There is a conceptual coherence that characterises his work and which recurs, even in his use of differing materials and techniques, without ever becoming monotonous. His eagerness to discover the cosmos is palpable in each and every one of his works, a topos that takes on a new aspect every time. The dynamic details on the terracotta are reflected in its dimensions, which lend the oeuvre of the ‘Concetti Spaziale’ a new power. This becomes evident when we revisit the artist’s own declarations about his total and immersive faith in art. Fontana never hesitated or wavered in his artistic pursuit, creating a one-of-a-kind artistic credibility. “My only faith is art” is one of the most oft-quoted declarations by the artist. Faced with a work by Fontana, then, we are must to pause to contemplate what is in front of us and what might lie on the other side: So in all this immensity my own thoughts drown: and sinking is sweet to me in this sea. (Giacomo Leopardi, L’Infinito, 1819)