Lucio Fontana is universally acknowledged as one of the foremost figures in the generation of artists who, in the 1950s and ‘60s, helped bring about a radical conceptual and linguistic change in contemporary art. The role he played was already being pointed out by specialised critics in the early years of the post-war period, involving a growing number of scholars and admirers, while also constituting a model for the young generation of artists in Europe.
The catalogue, accompanying the exhibition that Tornabuoni Art gallery in London dedicated to Lucio Fontana, is the result of in-depth archival research.
It features texts by Enrico Crispolti, author of Lucio Fontana. Catalogo Ragionato di sculture, dipinti, ambientazioni (Milan, 2006), Luca Massimo Barbero, Associate Curator of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice and author of Lucio Fontana: Catalogue Raisonné of the Works on Paper (Milan, 2014), and renowned art critic Edward Lucie-Smith, as well as exclusive, as yet unpublished contemporary photographs by Ugo Mulas and Lothar Wolleh.
The essays give great insight into the origins, content and features involved in the works and in the artistic movement that the artist himself referred to as Spazialismo, illustrating the underlying reasons for the growing international interest in Fontana’s work.
The authors have provided important curatorship, with historical reconstructions and critical analyses that bring to bear upon this selection of works the full significance of the targeted research programme.
The idea behind the selection is to document the main cycles of work to which Fontana dedicated the last twenty years of his life, so we find canvases from the Holes cycle from the opening years of the 1950s, the Stones from 1953-56, the Baroques from 1956-57, the Impastos and the Anilines from the end of the decade. Together with these works, there are naturally also various types of Slashes, from the experimental ones of 1959-60 to the essentially iconic works of the 1960s, as well as the complex Little Theatres of 1964-66 and the new Oils with craters of the early 1960s.