Lucio Fontana  (Argentine/Italian, 1899-1968) 

Lucio Fontana (Argentinean/Italian, 1899–1968) was born in Argentina, but moved to Milan when he was a young child. Trained as a sculptor at the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera, he became familiar with the art of Arturo Martini (1889–1947), whose work proved influential in Fontana’s artistic beginnings. During World War II, Fontana returned to Argentina, where he began formulating his theory on the concept of space. In 1947, he founded Spazialismo, or “Spatialism,” that he defined in several manifestos as the idea that art should include an element of energy, so that space can be seen in a dynamic way by the viewer, in a constant state of transition and tension.

Upon his return to Italy in 1948, Fontana created his infamous set of Spatial Concept paintings, which were novel in his violent attack of the paint surface. By slashing and puncturing the picture plane, Fontana transitioned a flat surface into a three-dimensional one, engaging the viewer through the aftermath of an action. Fontana’s most celebrated gesture, Il Taglio, is a slash used throughout his highly acclaimed Attese works. Among Fontana’s most innovative works are his Spatial Environment installations of suspended shapes and forms in a room dimly lit by scattered neon lights. Fontana was highly influential among the following generation of artists, who began to use installation mediums more aggressively to address the dynamics of space in environment and Land Art. In 1966, he was awarded the Grand Prize for Painting at the Venice Biennale, a remarkable achievement occurring just two years before his death in 1968.

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Lucio Fontana, Battaglia


Lucio Fontana

Studio La Città
Lucio Fontana, Volo spaziale


Lucio Fontana
Volo spaziale

Auction: Apr 29, 2014
Phillips London
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Lucio Fontana, Concetto spaziale


Lucio Fontana
Concetto spaziale

Montrasio Arte
Lucio Fontana, Concetto Spaziale


Lucio Fontana
Concetto Spaziale

Auction: Apr 28, 2014
Bukowskis Stockholm
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Lucio Fontana, Concetto Spaziale, Natura (2 works)


Lucio Fontana
Concetto Spaziale, Natura (2 works)

Auction: Apr 28, 2014
Bukowskis Stockholm
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Lucio Fontana, Concetto spaziale, Attese


Lucio Fontana
Concetto spaziale, Attese

Axel Vervoordt Gallery
Lucio Fontana, Concetto Spaziale, Attese


Lucio Fontana
Concetto Spaziale, Attese

Axel Vervoordt Gallery
Lucio Fontana, Concetto Spaziale (M-15)


Lucio Fontana
Concetto Spaziale (M-15)

Auction: May 3, 2014
Dr. Irene Lehr Kunstauktionen
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Lucio Fontana, Concetto Spaziale


Lucio Fontana
Concetto Spaziale

Montrasio Arte
Past auction results (4440)  View All
Lucio Fontana, Concetto Spaziale No.6


Lucio Fontana
Concetto Spaziale No.6, 1961
lithograph w/incisions and punched holes


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Lucio Fontana, Concetto Spaziale Rosso


Lucio Fontana
Concetto Spaziale Rosso, 1967
screenprint w/perforation


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Lucio Fontana,
Concetto Spaziale
(Noir avec
trous exterieurs)


Lucio Fontana
Concetto Spaziale (Noir avec trous exterieurs), 1963
screenprint w/punched holes


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1899   Born in Rosario de Santa Fe, Argentina
1905   Moved to Milan
1914 - 1915   Studied at the School of Architecture at the Technical Institute Carlo Cattaneo, Milan, Italy
1928 - 1930   Studied at the Academia di Bella Arti di Brera, Milan, Italy
1934   Joined the Paris group of artists 'Abstraction-Création', and set up their Milan section
1940 - 1946   Moved back and forth between Italy and Argentina
1942 - 1946   First Prize of Sculpture at the XXXII National Salon of Fine Arts
1946   Founded the Academia de Altamira, Buenos Aires, Argentina
1968   Died in Comabbio, Italy
2013   [school of] Lucie Fontaine, Artport, Tel Aviv
I ♥ Lucie, Various Small Fires / The Company, Los Angeles
i-n-v-e-n-t-o-r-y, Galeria Sabot, Cluj-Napoca
Destroy the Picture: Painting the Void, 1949–1962 - Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA), Chicago, IL
Il Senso e le Forme - Da Chadwick a Bonalumi - Galleria Blu, Milan
The 60s In The Guggenheim Collections. From Informel To Pop Art - Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice
2012   Les Associations Libres, La Maison Rouge, Paris
The Suburbans, The Suburban, Chicago
Estate, Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York
Yoko Ono : Search for the Fountain, Moderna Museet, Stockholm
My Lee Lozano and other works, Liste, Basel (under the auspice of Galeria Sabot)
Playing Dice Would be Nice, Gaudel de Stampa, Paris
Claire Fontaine & Lucie Fontaine : Exceptions, The Green Gallery, Milwaukee
Body of Work, Iaspis, Stockholm
Souvenirs, Gum Studio, Turin
2011   Domesticity II, Pulse, Miami
Black Magic, Artissima, Turin (under the auspice of Fruit and Flower Deli)
t-a-l-i-s-m-a-n-i-c, Fruit and Flower Deli, Stockholm
Domesticity I, Prague Biennale 5
Motion of Nation, VM21, Rome
2010   Modern Times: responding to chaos - Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire (England)
2009   Lucio Fontana. Le scritture del disegno - Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro, Milan (solo)
Lucio Fontana - Zeichen und Zeichnung - Museum Liner, Appenzell, Switzerland (solo)
2008   Lucio Fontana, Scultore, Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, Rome, Italy (solo)
Lucio Fontana: Paintings, Sculptures, Works on Paper, Ben Brown Fine Arts, London, UK (solo)
2007   Via Crucis - Lucio Fontana, Museo de Arte de Sao Paulo Assis Chateaubriand - MASP, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Lucio Fontana Sculptor, Castello di San Giorgio, Torino, Italy (solo)
Living, Looking, Making: Sculpture by Giacometti, Fontana, Twombly, Serra, Gagosian Gallery, London, UK
2006   Lucio Fontana, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City, NY (solo)
Lucio Fontana: Venice/New York”, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy (solo)
Lucio Fontana: Alle Radici Dello Spazialismo, Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimo, New York, NY (solo)
Lucio Fontana: Alle Radici Dello Spazialismo, Italian Cultural Institute, New York, NY (solo)
Lucio Fontana, Harry Ruhe / Galerie A, Amsterdam, Netherlands (solo)
2005   Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago, IL
2004   Lucio Fontana, Museum Franz Gertsch, Burgdorf, Switzerland (solo)
2002   De Pury & Luxembourg, Zurich, Switzerland
2000   Lucio Fontana, Sperone Westwater, New York, NY (solo)
Lucio Fontana, 11 Duke Street Limited, London, UK (solo)
1999 - 2000   Lucio Fontana, Hayward Gallery, London, UK
Minimalia: An Italian Version in 20th Century Art, P.S. 1, New York, NY
1999   Lucio Fontana,'Stasera inauguro la mia mostra da Palazzoli', Galleria Blu, Milan, Italy
1998 - 1999   Gold: Gothic Masters and Lucio Fontana, Compagnia Di Belle Arti (& other locations) Milan, Italy
1998 - 1998p   Lucio Fontana, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome, Italy (solo)
Lucio Fontana. Entre Materia y Espacio, La Fundación 'la Caixa' in collaboration with the Museo National Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain (solo)
1996 - 1997   Lucio Fontana: Retrospektive, Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Germany; Museum Moderner Kunst Stifung Ludwig, Vienna, Austria (solo)
1987   Lucio Fontana, Musée national d'art moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
Fondation Caixa de Pensions in Barcelona, Spain
Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, UK
1977   Lucio Fontana Retrospective, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City, NY (solo)
1966   Retrospective, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Netherlands
1959   V. Bienal Sao Paulo, Brazil
1930   Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
1930   Galleria del Milione, Milan, Italy (solo)
1926   Nexus, Rosario de Santa Fe, Argentina
  Museum of Modern Art, New York , NY
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC
Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
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, UK
2004    Lucio Fontana. Burgdorf, Switzerland: Museum Franz Gertsch (catalogue)
2000    Tuttle, Richard. Lucio Fontana. New York: Sperone Westwate, 2000 (catalogue)
1999    Enrico Crispolti (ed.). Fontana. Milan, Italy: Edizioni Charta, 1999 (catalogue)
1998    Lucio Fontana. Entre Materia y Espacio. Madrid, Spain: La Fundación 'la Caixa' ; Museo National Cantro de Arte Reina Sofía, 1998 (catalogue)
1997    Lucio Fontana. Retrospektive. Ludwig, Vienna: Museum Moderner Kunst Stifung , 1997 (catalogue)