Lucio Fontana

  • Born 1899 in Rosario di Santa Fé, Argentina
  • Died 1968 in Comabbio, Varese, Italy
Lucio Fontana is known as the founder of spatialism and for his association with arte povera. His family moved to Italy in 1905, but he returned to Argentina in 1922, to help in his father’s sculpture studio. After setting up his own studio in 1924 he received several important public commissions. Fontana studied at the Accademia di belle arti, Brera, in 1928; participated in the Venice Biennale (1930); and had his first solo show at the Galleria del Milione, Milan (1931). During the 1930s he experimented with abstracted figures, geometrical forms, and ceramic sculpture at Albisola (1935–39). In 1940 Fontana moved again to Argentina, and taught at several institutions. His contact with young artists led to the Manifesto bianco (White Manifesto) group (1946), and he began to use the phrase concetto spaziale as titles for some works. Back in Milan in 1947 Fontana joined the spazialismo movement and signed the Manifesto dello Spazialismo (Spatialist Manifesto). Fontana combined sculpture, fluorescent paint, and black lights for his Ambiente spaziale a luce nera (Spatial Ambience in Black Light; 1948–49), to be viewed in a darkened room. Fontana visited New York in 1961 for a show of his work at the Martha Jackson Gallery; he also designed sets and costumes for La Scala, Milan, in 1966.

Artworks by Lucio Fontana in the exhibition