Immaterial: Fontana CeramicsLondon
Signed 'fontana' Registered at the Fondazione Lucio Fontana, Milan, No.3995/1
48 x 48 x 9 cm / 19 x 19 x 3.5 in
Fabienne Levy, Lausanne
Galerie Haas, Zurich
ExhibitionsNew York, Colnaghi, Fontana, presented by Ben Brown Fine Art & Colnaghi, 22nd January - 28th February 2019.
In his early years, Fontana worked for his father's firm and created funerary busts from materials such as plaster or marble. As a young man, he started training to be a neo-classical sculpture at the Academia di Belle Arti De Brera in 1928. However, Fontana's artistic nature led him to move away from the standard and rigorous rules of academic sculpture-making and he decided to explore art freely. In 1935, Fontana started working in the futurist ceramist workshop of Tullio Mazzotti, in the small town of Albisola, Italy. This intricate piece of ceramic sets the scene for a bullfight, as the symbolic figures whirl around the plate. Corrida is part of the Ceramiche series in which Fontana worked on from 1949 until 1968. The series consists of purely decorative objects and ornaments which include vases, small sculptures, door handles or plates that are produced in either ceramic or terracotta. The fluidity of the figures and subtle pink and yellow tones in this piece demonstrates Fontana’s fascination with the Baroque style. Fontana was also inspired by significant biblical and literal scenes in an abstract manner. In this ceramic, Fontana tries to emulate the interaction between the bull and the fighter. Produced between 1948 and 1950, Corrida is one of a few ceramic pieces created by Fontana in which he depicts the rigour and triumph of a bullfighting scene. Furthermore, Pablo Picasso produced a ceramic plate called Corrida in 1953 that was also inspired by the Spanish bullfighting scene. Thus, Fontana might have taken inspiration from Picasso's past contributions. However, this piece shows the figures in a more abstract and futuristic manner that gives it a sense of mysticism and calmness. Overall, this piece bears the magnificent mark of Fontana's dynamic modelling, and the imperfections become a witness for the artist's hand. His forceful manipulations and cuts through the material are attempts to testify to the presence of the artist. This work is registered in the Archive Lucio Fontana, Milan under number 3995/1