Concetto Spaziale, 1962-63
signed on the recto: l. fontana
Registered at the Fondazione Lucio Fontana, Milan, No.612/4
32 x 26 cm / 12.6 x 10.2 in
Bought directly from Fontana by Emilio Scanavino;
One of the most pioneering artists of the 20th century, Argentine-Italian artist Lucio Fontana (1899–1968) continually challenged the boundaries of the role of the artist and the creation of art, through his use of a variety of materials and forms, and actions. Albeit best known for his Concetti Spaziale, created in the 1950s and 1960s, clay modelling and ceramics have always been central to his artistic production.
Starting with Figurativism, Fontana presented his first abstract sculptures in the early 1930s, exhibiting at Galleria del Milione in Milan, which at that time was seen as the centre of abstract art in Italy. His subject matter from this period was extremely varied ranging from battle scenes to flowers and evoked a raw intimacy. In 1939, Fontana returned to Argentina, where he stayed until the end of World War II. In 1946, he along with some South American students, launched the Manifiesto Blanco, which would lay the foundations for the birth of Spatialism. The following year Fontana returned to Italy, bringing with him the revolutionary energy of his Spatialist ideas. In the same year, he executed his first spatial sculpture, which was exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 1948.
During the early 1950s, figurative ceramics, masks and sacred figures appeared in Fontana’s sculptures. During the second part of the decade however these more elaborate features had given way to elegantly simple cylindrical vases and ceramic and terracotta plates, marked only with holes and scratches.
In 1962 Fontana began to design jewellery, which he made in small series, developing silver and lacquer forms which were then applied to rings and bracelets, pertaining to space travel. It was also during this time that he created new glazed ceramics, often marked on the sides with a stroke that was an allusion to a transition, or with holes that opened like shapeless craters, possibly resonant to his oil paintings.