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Lucio Fontana

/Works and biography

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Spatial Concept (Concetto Spaziale), 1955
Oil on canvas, 70 x 60 cm
No. cat. 55B 3
Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, Venice
Gift, Fondazione Araldi Guinetti, 2011.45
© Fondazione Lucio Fontana, Milano, by SIAE 2012


In 1949 Fontana commenced his Concetto spaziale series, marking a turning point in his career: he perforated the monochrome primed canvas with an awl. This very first Concetto spaziale was called Buchi (Holes) by Fontana, and it is to this series that the present work belongs. The physical gesture of puncturing acquires a profound and conceptual meaning, projecting a space-time continuum into a finite object. Extending from the centre, holes here create a scattered nucleus, reminiscent of cosmic constellations. The colour arrangement reinforces the composition’s ‘centeredness’. Two circles – yellow and green – cover the middle of a black cross. Round shapes recall the natural circular forms of the Sun and the Earth, hinting at ancient scientific discoveries. Informel aesthetics, which Fontana later left behind, are present in the loose brushstrokes and emphasis on matičre.

credits: Hangar Design Group