Lucio Fontana
Concetto Spaziale. Trinità, 1966
White waterpaint on canvas and lacquered wood. Triptych
3 elements 203 x 203 cm each
About Established as one of the major protagonists of contemporary art, Lucio Fontana managed to find a synthesis between sculpture and painting.
His broad creativity ranged from figuration to extreme abstraction in a constant experimentation with the potential of new materials and techniques.
The recognizable authenticity and creative force of Fontana’s gesture is evident in all of his works, whether imprinted in the materiality of the “gesso”, modelled in the forms of the “theatres”, or in the clean, minimal purity of the “cuts”.

Born in 1899 in Rosario, Santa Fe to Italian parents, after completing his studies in Italy, Fontana returned to Argentina and began to devote himself to sculpture, which included working with his father, a sculptor and architect, in the construction of cemetery memorials.

The first exhibition of his work – the study of a female face – was in 1925 at the Salon de Bellas Artes in Rosario. In 1927 he returned to Milan and enrolled at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts, where he studied under Adolfo Wildt. His first results were characterised by a rough, vibrant plasticity, but from about 1930, he began to produce entirely new work. In the same year he took part in the Venice Biennial and began exhibiting regularly at the Galleria del Milione in Milan, where he had his first solo exhibition in 1931, curated by Edoardo Persico. During these years, he joined the Lombardy group of abstract artists and the international movement Abstraction-Création.

In 1939 he again moved back to Argentina, where in 1946 he published the Manifiesto blanco, which laid the foundations for spatialism, a direction he fully developed after his return to Italy in 1947.
The first Spatialist Manifesto appeared in December of that year, signed by Giorgio Kaisserlian, Beniamino Joppolo and Milena Milani. In the following years, the aesthetics of spatialism was confirmed in a series of manifestos and policy statements, and found concrete expression in the works that Fontana exhibited at the1948 Venice Biennial and at the Galleria del Naviglio in 1949, where the first Ambiente spaziale demonstrated the breaking of boundaries between painting, sculpture and architecture in order to conquer what Fontana called the “spatial concept of art”.

This was the period of the first “holes”, and the design of the looping tube of neon light, shown at the Milan Triennial in 1951. In the following years, Fontana’s extensive presence on the exhibition circuit culminated in a solo show at the 1958 Venice Biennial.
In 1959, the Galleria del Milione presented the new series of “cuts”, in which the clean, precise gesture of cutting the canvas opened it to an infinite spatial dimension.
Fontana went on to develop new series of works: Nature, Quanta, Teatrini, Fine di Dio and Ambienti spaziali, in which his ideas continually found new directions until his death in 1968.

Of particular significance among the many retrospectives and anthological exhibitions dedicated to the artist were the five exhibitions held in Milan in 1999 to celebrate the centenary of his birth, curated by the leading experts on his work.
The most recent, major exhibitions of his work include the 2014 retrospective at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris with over 200 sculptures, paintings, ceramics and installations from the Twenties to 1968, and the 2014-2015 Milan exhibition at the Museo del Novecento, organised in collaboration with the Fondazione Lucio Fontana, in which a new perspective has been explored: the parallel path Fontana and Yves Klein took between Paris and Milan in the years 1957-1962.

In conjunction with Milan Expo 2015, Fondazione Marconi presented A tribute to Lucio Fontana and, in collaboration with the Fondazione Lucio Fontana, displayed the Concetto Spaziale. Trinità (1966) together with group of works created between 1951 and 1968.