TEFAF Maastricht 2020
Signed and dated Registered at the Fondazione Lucio Fontana, Milan, No.4268/1
colored glazed ceramic
70 x 50 x 40 cm / 27.5 x 19.7 x 15.7 in
Provenancework donated by the artist to Don Luigi Maria Verzé
“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) In the present work, Fontana shows a strong knowledge of the material he is using, allowing it to acquire a plastic-like nature and exploring its intrinsic richness. Executed in 1952, Ballerina testifies to Fontana’s engagement with Spatialism, the movement he founded in 1947, as he creates a multi-faceted sculpture that aggressively occupies the space around it. 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). While a silhouette is still recognizable, the body of the Ballerina seems to merge with the material, setting in motion a game of hiding and revealing. The Ballerina is imbued with light and conveys physical movement, appearing almost ready to step into the realm of the real world. Her body is therefore invested with a sort of freedom as it reaches a new dimension in space. Both predominant and strong is the link to Albisola. This city had a long tradition of creating ceramic works of art and thus the artist’s experience there, plunged him into a creative “vortex”, which had as its hallmark an emotional, lyrical plasticity which endured all his life. 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 as 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). This work is registered in the Fondazione Lucio Fontana, Milan, under N. 4268/1 The availability and price of the above work are subject to change without prior notice. Where applicable ARR will be added.