Immaterial: Fontana CeramicsLondon
Signed on the bottom L. Fontana Registered at the Fondazione Lucio Fontana, Milan, No. 1023/45
39 x 30 cm
15 3/8 x 11 3/4 in
15 3/8 x 11 3/4 in
ProvenanceGalleria La Medusa, Milan;
LiteratureE. Crispolti, L'Avventura Spaziale di Lucio Fontana, Milan 1974, p. 22, ill.;
A. Coliva (curated by), Lucio Fontana. Terra e oro, Cinisello Balsamo 2019, pp. 102-103.
ExhibitionsMilan, Galleria La Medusa, curated by E. Crispolti, 16 October - 24 November 1974.
Rome, Galleria Borghese, Lucio Fontana. Terra e oro, curated by A. Coliva, 22 May - 28 July 2019.
This work is registered in the Fondazione Lucio Fontana, Milan, under n. 1023/45 and it is accompanied by a photo-certificate issued by Fondazione Lucio Fontana, Milan. ‘We do not intend to abolish art or stop life: we want paintings to come out of their frames, and sculptures from under their glass cases. An aerial, artistic portrayal of a minute will last for thousands of years in eternity' (Second Spatialist Manifesto, in E. Crispolti and R. Siligato (eds.), Lucio Fontana, exh. cat., Rome, 1998, p. 118) Executed between 1950 and 1955, Lucio Fontana's Crocifisso is a powerful and dynamic glazed ceramic sculpture that addresses issues of the Spatialist movement that was founded by the artist in 1947. 'We live in the mechanical age', the artist declared in the Manifesto Blanco, published in Buenos Aires in 1946, 'Painted canvas and upright plaster no longer have any reason to exist' (Manifesto Blanco, 1946 in E. Crispolti and R. Siligato (eds.), Lucio Fontana, exh. cat., Milan, 1998, p. 115). Crocifisso testifies of Fontana’s will to explore the possibilities of the material and its interaction with space. Vigorously modelling and moulding the wet clay, he has created a highly textured, tactile and multi-faceted sculpture enlivened with protrusions and cavities that coalesce and integrate with the space surrounding them. In this way, Fontana achieved his aims at creating, 'neither painting nor sculpture, nor lines delimited in space, but continuity of space in matter' (Fontana quoted in E. Crispolti and R. Siligato (eds.), Lucio Fontana, exh. cat., Rome, 1998, p. 118). Thus, the body of Christ – here hardly recognizable – is invested with a sort of freedom as it reaches a new dimension of space. It is a similar freedom that Fontana seeks in his works that lie between painting and sculpture. Near-abstract in its appearance, the subject of Crocifisso is hard to discern. The body of Christ barely emerges from the clay. The duality on materiality and immateriality that the artist puts into play is might symbolize Chirst’s dual nature of human being and spiritual entity. Moreover, the gestural, dynamic and dramatic rendering of the sculpture also reflects one of the central areas of interest for Fontana at this time: the Baroque. In 1946 Fontana and his avant-garde colleagues had declared, '[the] Baroque was a leap ahead it represented space with a magnificence that is still unsurpassed and added the notion of time to the plastic arts. The figures seemed to abandon the flat surface and continue the represented movements in space' (Manifesto Blanco, 1946, in ibid., p. 115). Please note that the price and availability of this work may be subject to changes with prior notice. Where applicable ARR will be added.