In 1947 Lucio Fontana (1899-1968), together with a group of Milanese writers and philosophers, gave life to the artistic movement of ‘Spatialism’ proclaiming light and space as the foundation of artistic conception. In the fields of painting and sculpture, he expressed this in his famous ‘canvases with cuts‘.
Fontana’s revolutionary art is currently being celebrated in New York with a commemoration has extraordinary proportions: three exhibitions at the same time.
The largest of these retrospective exhibitions is at the Met Breuer and is entitled ‘Lucio Fontana: on the Threshold‘. It reexamines the career of the Argentine-Italian artist presenting extraordinary examples of his iconic body of work on ‘cuts’. It also explores Fontana’s beginnings as a sculptor, including his exquisite work in ceramic, as well as his pioneering environments, contextualizing the radical gesture of his Cuts as part of the artist’s broader search to integrate the space of art and the space of the viewer.
Another significant exhibition is ‘Spacial Explorations’ at the Italian Cultural Institute in Park Avenue. The exhibition project emanates from the importance of Fontana’s production within the framework of the second post-war period in Italy. Alongside Fontana’s works, the display includes important works by exponents of the Spatialism and of the Nuclear Movement of the fifties, and also artworks by the Azimut artists and by those embracing the new art scene that developed in the early sixties. Crippa, Dova, Tancredi, Deluigi, Scanavino, Baj e Dangelo from the ’50s, e Manzoni, Castellani, Bonalumi, Anceschi, Boriani, Colombo, De Vecchi, Varisco, Dadamaino e Arturo Vermi from the ’60s.
Finally, the third exhibition, entitled ‘Lucio Fontana: Ambiente Espacial, 1968‘ is on show at El Museo del Barrio. The exhibition consists of the reconstruction of the immersive, all-white, labyrinthine ‘Spatial Environment’ (1968) following the exact specifications of the artist’s final work in the series, originally conceived and presented at documenta 4 in Kassel, Germany shortly before Fontana’s death.
All the exhibitions will remain open until April 14th, except for the one at the Italian Cultural Institute, which will close on March 9th.
Ilona Catani Scarlett