This catalogue, published for the exhibition dedicated to the artist at Art Basel 2017, is the result of research conducted to provide a deeper understanding of a specific cycle of works by Lucio Fontana. The paintings on show, and analysed in this catalogue, belong to his series The End of God. They were painted on egg-shaped, identically-sized canvases, and feature constellations of “holes” and/or slashes and/or scratches, which are sometimes limited to one part of the monochromatic canvas, while others cover the entire surface painted in oils (and sometimes sequins). In an interview with Carlo Cisventi in 1963, the artist explained: “For me, they represent the infinite, the inconceivable, the end of figurative representation, the beginning of nothingness.”
Lucio Fontana is unanimously considered as one of the leading artists in the generation between the 1950s and 1960s who contributed to the radical linguistic and conceptual change in contemporary art. This role was underlined by specialised art critics right from the immediate post-war years, and then confirmed by an increasingly larger number of scholars and art appraisers, and at the same time, formed a fundamental reference point for the new generation of European artists.
Enrico Crispolti, art historian specialized in 19th, 20th and 21st Century works, and militant art critic, curated a large number of showings and exhibitions dedicated to contemporary artistic research. He was Full Professor of History of Contemporary Art at the Faculty of Arts and Letters, at the University of Siena, and Director of the post graduate school for History of Art, also in Siena. He lectured, then became full professor in History of Art at the Fine Arts Academy at the Sapienza University in Rome.