Lucio Fontana Argentine/Italian, 1899-1968


The Argentinian born artist Lucio Fontana grew up in Milan, later training as a sculptor at the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera. He moved back to Argentina during World War II and started to develop theories around representing time and dimensionality in art, founding Spazialismo, (‘Spatialism’) in 1947. He intended to create an entirely new type of art that would illustrate tension and transience by combining aesthetic, kinetic and scientific elements.


In 1948, Fontana returned to Italy and produced his well-known series of Spatial Concept paintings. These violently slashed canvases were no longer flat but existed in three dimensions: in exposing the space behind, the torn surface left physical evidence of energy. As one of the first artists to make art into a performance, Fontana’s rejection of boundary and permanence anticipated later developments in Arte Povera and installation art.


He was awarded the Grand Prize for Painting at the 1966 Venice Biennale, and died in 1968.

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