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Lucio Fontana

<b>Lucio Fontana</b>
<i>Concetto spaziale, Natura</i>, 1959
bronze
19.69 x 9.45 x 8.66 inches (50 x 24 x 22 cm.)
Lucio Fontana
Concetto spaziale, Natura, 1959
bronze
19.69 x 9.45 x 8.66 inches (50 x 24 x 22 cm.)
<b>Lucio Fontana</b>
<i>Concetto spaziale, Natura</i>, 1959-1960
bronze
16 x 23 x 23 inches (40.6 x 58.4 x 58.4 cm.)
Lucio Fontana
Concetto spaziale, Natura, 1959-1960
bronze
16 x 23 x 23 inches (40.6 x 58.4 x 58.4 cm.)

Biography

Lucio Fontana
(1899 - 1968)

Lucio Fontana was born in 1899 in Rosario de Santa Fé, Argentina and raised in Milan. He moved back to Argentina in 1922 and worked as a sculptor in his father’s studio. Returning to Italy in 1928, Fontana pursued formal training in classical sculpture, enrolling at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera.

From his first solo show in Milan in 1931, Fontana spent a number of years pursuing a career as a sculptor, ceramicist and theorist. However, it was not until 1947 that Fontana defined what would become his signature style. That year, together with a group of writers and philosophers, Fontana signed the Primo Manifesto dello Spazialismo. Fontana announced his goals for a “spatialist” art, one that could engage technology to achieve an expression of the fourth dimension. He wanted to meld the categories of architecture, sculpture, and painting to create a groundbreaking new aesthetic idiom.

The first examples of Fontana's new pictorial conception took the shape of Bucchi, or holes, punched through the canvas. His punctures and tears draw attention to the space behind and in front of the canvas itself. A decade later, in 1958, Fontana began his signature knife-slashes, or Tagli, which he named "Concetto Spaziale, Attese" (Spatial Conception, Expectation). These cuts and holes enable the viewer to look into the dark, imaginary space behind the canvas surface rather than focusing on the representation atop the picture plane. Fontana often lined the reverse of his canvases with black gauze so that the darkness would shimmer behind the open cuts and create a mysterious sense of illusion and depth.

Until his death in 1968, Fontana continued to experiment with his ruptures and tears of the canvas surface, widening and shrinking his holes, varying the color of the canvas and the number of cuts, and changing the painting's shape. He almost always worked with monochrome colors, connecting his works with the new monochrome European painting established by artists such as Piero Manzoni and Yves Klein.

Lucio Fontana has been the subject of a number of international retrospectives. The first was held at the Guggenheim in New York in 1977. Subsequent museum exhibitions include Musée national d'art moderne de la ville de Paris and Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, 1987 (traveled to La Fundación 'la Caixa' Barcelona, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London in 1988); Kunsthalle Frankfurt, 1996 (traveled to Museum Moderner Kunst Stifung Ludwig, Vienna, 1997), the Museo National Cantro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid in 1998, Hayward Gallery, London 1999, and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice and the Guggenheim Museum, New York in 2006–07. Lucio Fontana died in Varese, Italy, in 1968.

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2014
Lucio Fontana Retrospective, Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France
Lucio Fontana: Autour d’un chef-d’œuvre retrouvé, Galerie Tornabuoni Art, Paris, France

2012
Lucio Fontana: Ambienti Spaziali, Gagosian Gallery, New York
Lucio Fontana: Ceramics, Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, United States of America

2009
Lucio Fontana. Le scritture del disegno, Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro, Milan, Italy
Lucio Fontana - Zeichen und Zeichnung, Museum Liner, Appenzell, Switzerland

2008
Lucio Fontana, Scultore, Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, Rome, Italy
Lucio Fontana: Paintings, Sculptures, Works on Paper, Ben Brown Fine Arts, London, United Kingdom

2007
Lucio Fontana Sculptor, Castello di San Giorgio, Torino, Italy

2006-2007
Lucio Fontana: Venice/New York, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

2006
Lucio Fontana: Alle Radici Dello Spazialismo, Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo, New York; The Italian Cultural Institute, New York

2004
"Lucio Fontana, Museum Franz Gertsch, Burgdorf, Switzerland

2000
Lucio Fontana, Sperone Westwater, New York
Lucio Fontana, 11 Duke Street Limited, London, United Kingdom

1999
Hayward Gallery, London, United Kingdom
Fondazione Lucio Fontana, Milan, Italy

1998
Lucio Fontana. Entre Materia y Espacio, La Fundación 'la Caixa' and Museo National Cantro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain
Lucio Fontana, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome, Italy

1996
Lucio Fontana: Retrospektive, Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Germany. Traveled to Museum Moderner Kunst Stifung Ludwig, Vienna, Austria

1987
Musée national d'art moderne de la ville de Paris and Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; travelled to La Fundación 'la Caixa' Barcelona, Spain; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, United Kingdom

1977
Lucio Fontana Retrospective, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

1931
Galleria Il Milione, Milan, Italy

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2014
Leap into the Void, Axel Vervoordt Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium
Anish Kapoor | Lucio Fontana TRESPASSING, Luigi Pecci Centre for Contemporary Art, Milan, Italy
La fine di Dio Maurizio Cattelan | Lucio Fontana, Gagosian Gallery, London, United Kingdom
Beyond the surface. Spatialism from the surface. Lucio Fontana, Enrico Castellani, Augustine Bonalumi, Pino Pinelli, Costantini Art Gallery, Milan, Italy
Günther Förg/ Lucio Fontana: Bronze/Terracotta, Massimo de Carlo, London, United Kingdom

2013 – 2014
Snow Variation: Group Exhibition, Galleria Massimo De Carlo, Milan, Italy
Fabric as Material and Concept in Modern Art from Klimt to the Present, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany
The Anatomy Lesson, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Netherlands
Return to Earth: Ceramic Sculpture of Fontana, Melotti, Miró, Noguchi, and Picasso, 1943-1963, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, Texas

2013
The Show is Over,, Gagosian Gallery, London, United Kingdom
Audible Presence: Lucio Fontana, Yves Klein, Cy Twombly,, Dominique Levy Gallery, New York,
Losing the Threads of the Voice,, Zerynthia, Rome, Italy
Not on the website??, Fausto Melotti, Galerie Karsten Greve, Cologne, Germany
Post-War Italian Art: Accardi, Dorazio, Fontana, Schifano,, Sperone Westwater, New York
Postwar. Italian Protagonists, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy
School of Lucie Fontaine, Artport, Tel Aviv, Israel
I love Lucie, Various Small Fires / The Company, Los Angeles, California
I-n-v-e-n-t-o-r-y, Galeria Sabot, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Destroy the Picture: Painting the Void, 1949–1962, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA), Chicago, Illinois
Il Senso e le Forme - Da Chadwick a Bonalumi, Galleria Blu, Milan, Italy
The 60s In The Guggenheim Collections. From Informel To Pop Art, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy

2012
From De Chirico to Cattelan: A Survey of 20th Century Italian Art, Ben Brown Fine Arts, London, United Kingdom
Les Associations Libres, La Maison Rouge, Paris, France
The Suburbans, The Suburban, Chicago, Illinois
Estate, Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York
Yoko Ono : Search for the Fountain, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden
My Lee Lozano and other works, Liste, Basel , Switzerland (under the auspice of Galeria Sabot)
Playing Dice Would be Nice, Gaudel de Stampa, Paris, France
Claire Fontaine & Lucie Fontaine : Exceptions, The Green Gallery, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Body of Work, Iaspis, Stockholm, Sweden
Souvenirs, Gum Studio, Turin, Italy
Bram Bogart: Mastering matter, Cobra Museum voor Moderne Kunst, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The Thirties: The Arts in Italy Beyond Fascism, Museo di Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, Italy
Shifting Paradigms in Contemporary Ceramics: The Garth Clark and Mark Del Vecchio Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas
Suprasensorial: Experiments in Light, Color and Space, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, National Mall, Washington D.C.,
Neon, Who's Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue ?, La Maison Rouge, Paris, France
New Galerie de France, Paris, France
Ashes and Gold A World's Journey, Marta Herford, Herford, Germany
Spirits of Internationalism 6 European collections, 1956 - 1986, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands

2011
Piero Manzoni: Azimut, Gagosian Gallery, London, United Kingdom
Domesticity II, Pulse, Miami, Florida
Domesticity I, Prague Biennale 5, Prague, Czech Republic
Motion of Nation, VM21, Rome, Italy
Great Prospects!, Belvedere, Vienna, Austria
Flowers for Summer, Michael Werner Gallery, Cologne, Germany and New York
Ileana Sonnabend: An Italian Portrait, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
Tate St Ives Summer Exhibition 2011, Tate St. Ives, St. Ives, United Kingdom
Works in Progress - Rodin and the Ambassadors, Musée Rodin, Paris, France
Sculpture: Fontana, LeWitt, Melotti, and Puryear, Barbara Mathes Gallery, New York
1900–1961: Italian Art in the Guggenheim Collections, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy
The Rudolf and Ute Scharpff Collection, Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany
Contemporary Collecting: The Judith Neisser Collection, The Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois

2010
Modern Times: responding to chaos, Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom
Suprasensorial: Experiments in Light, Color, and Space, The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles, California
Heinz Mack/Lucio Fontana, Ben Brown Fine Arts, London, United Kingdom
Shit or Gold?, Herning Kunstmuseum, Herning, Denmark
Biennale Internazionale di Scultura di Carrara, Italy
More Carpets, Isabella Bortolozzi Galerie, Berlin, Germany
Lucio Fontana: Prints and Sculpture, PGartventure, Larchmont, United States of America
Abstract Resistance, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, United States of America
Masterpieces of Modernity. The Collection of the Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Austria

2009
Mapping the Studio: Artists from the François Pinault Collection, Palazzo Grassi, François Pinault Foundation, Venice, Italy
Slough, David Nolan, New York, United States of America
DLA Piper Series: This is Sculpture, Tate Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom
Pictures of Garbage - Vik Muniz, Arndt & Partner, Zurich, Switzerland
Paper: Pressed, Stained, Slashed, Folded, The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Hot Spots.Rio de Janeiro / Milano - Torino / Los Angeles 1956 – 1969, Kunsthaus Zürich, Switzerland

2008
Willem de Kooning Lucio Fontana Eva Hesse, Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York
Astrazione Informale Segno. Postwar Italian Art 1950-60, Zonca & Zonca, Milan, Italy

2007
Via Crucis - Lucio Fontana, Museo de Arte de Sao Paulo Assis Chateaubriand, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Living, Looking, Making: Sculpture by Giacometti, Fontana, Twombly, Serra, Gagosian Gallery, London, United Kingdom

2005
The Shape of Time, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago, Illinois

2002
De Pury & Luxembourg, Zurich, Switzerland

1999
Minimalia: An Italian Version in 20th Century Art, P.S. 1, New York

1998
Gold: Gothic Masters and Lucio Fontana, Compagnia Di Belle Arti (and other locations) Milan, Italy


SELECTED PUBLIC COLLECTIONS
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC
Guggenheim Museum, New York
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio
Calderara Foundation Collection, Milan, Italy
Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art, Turin, Italy
Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Rome, Italy
GAM - Galleria Civica d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Turin, Italy
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Spain
Reina Sofía National Museum, Madrid, Spain
Tate Gallery, London, United Kingdom