Thursday, September 5, 2013

The master of spatialism in the Movimento Arte Concreta - Lucio Fontana

Lucio Fontana was born in Argentina in 1899. Now renowned as the founder of the Spazialismo movement (Spatialism), he was a member of Abstraction-Création in the 1930s, and in the 1950s he was also closely involved in the Italian abstract movement MAC, the Movimento Arte Concreta.

Lucio Fontana, Untitled lithograph, 1955

Lucio Fontana, Untitled lithograph, 1955

The two Fontana lithographs above both date from 1955, and are printed on very thin paper, the first on green, the second on orange. They have both been randomly punctured with many small holes, in accordance with Fontana's practice at this period, and his ongoing concern with disrupting the picture plane. His paintings of this date, which are also punctured with holes rather than slashed with cuts (for which he is perhaps more famous), were called Buchi, Holes.

Lucio Fontana
Untitled lithograph, 1958

Apparently Fontana came to find MAC's theoretical rejection of figuration an arid dead-end, leading too many of its artists to take refuge in geometry. But his 1958 lithograph above is anything but arid or geometric. Instead it is lyrical and dreamlike, and makes the most of its unusual support, a highly fibrous buff-coloured paper. One of Italy's most influential 20th-century artists, Lucio Fontana died in 1968.


Atelier Conti said...

I agree with you, these images are quite striking and yet dreamy. How interesting about his practice of putting holes in the paper. It's effective in these examples.

It's too bad you didn't see Slovenia at a more auspicious time. It is an exceptional country. I put up lots of photos on my blog, should you like to see what I mean. My husband, and editor, made me take out some my superlatives. I guess I was a little over the top in my gushing.

Neil said...

I've never seen one of the canvases with holes, though one often encounters the slashed canvases - I guess the latter is a more dramatic gesture. But the idea of puncturing the "support" is quite radical, either way.