Sometimes the most sophisticated and thought-provoking art comes from the simplest concepts. This is exactly the case with Lucio Fontana (1899–1968), an Argentine-born, Italian-raised painter whose art—based on his theory of spatialism, that matter should be infiltrated by energy in order to generate dimensional, dynamic forms—has us wishing for a wall full of his white and ivory canvases.
Lucio was almost unbelievably prolific in the early to middle part of the twentieth century, with much of his work dedicated to a series of visual “manifestos” that saw him punching holes and slashing lines in his canvases in order to expose the dimensional space underneath. He would then use metallic paints over the surface of the ruptured canvas, to form the ultimate juxtaposition between the damaged areas and the smooth, sleek appearance of the paint on top, and to focus the attention on the torn surface.
Today we’re taking some time to appreciate pieces from his Concetto Spaziale (“Spatial Concepts”) series, pieces from which can be viewed at the Guggenheim and MoMA in New York City, as well as at the Tate and a wide variety of other European museums.