Press Release

Fontana and the Gothic - New York
April 28, 2022

Robilant+Voena’s latest exhibition pairs masterworks of Italian Gothic painting with Lucio Fontana’s spatial concepts, presenting the old masters through the lens of Fontana’s art and vice versa.

 

On display in our New York gallery located at 980 Madison Avenue, the exhibition will open on 28 April and run until 11 June 2022.

 

This will be the second exhibition pairing Italian Gothic pictures with Fontana’s work. The first was presented by Marco Voena at Sperone Westwater in February 1999, Gold. Gothic Masters and Lucio Fontana.

 

Puncturing and slashing clay, canvas and metal, Fontana created art which transcended the boundaries of painting and sculpture. His works stand as a record of time and process, tearing down physical and intellectual traditions to create the new.

 

For an artist who propelled the fine arts so far into the future, Fontana saw great relevance to the new in Italian Gothic painting, explaining ‘The fundamental conditions in modern art are clearly evident in the 13th century, in which the representation of space begins’.

 

At the end of the 13th century, Italian artists began to experiment with the material realities of the figure in space. This moment marked the beginning of a search for how best to depict a rational, measurable space in two dimensions, where artists could place their newly naturalistic figures.

 

The exhibition will present powerful juxtapositions between Fontana's pioneering spatial concepts and gold-grounds by artists including Taddeo di Bartolo, Jacopo di Cione and Bicci di Lorenzo. The purity and meditative quality of Fontana's monochrome canvases complements the emotion and pathos found in depictions of the life of Christ and saints by the Gothic masters.

 

Vividly animating and rupturing the space around them, Fontana’s ceramics are among the artist’s most innovative and experimental works. A Madonna and Child in pale tones of blue and an unusual pair of dark, punctured spatial concepts in terracotta are contrasted with a pair of reliefs of Saint Dominic and Saint Francis by Benedetto Buglioni, c. 1500.