Lot Essay ‘The hole is, precisely, creating this void behind there... And so here we have: foreground, middleground and background... to go farther what do I have to do?... I make holes, infinity passes through them, light passes through them, there is no need to paint' (Lucio Fontana, quoted in E. Crispolti, 'Spatialism and Informel. The Fifties', pp. 144-150 in: Lucio Fontana, E. Crispolti and R. Siligato (eds.), Milan 1998, p. 146).
Executed in 1960, Concetto spaziale is an elegant work on paper belonging to Lucio Fontana’s iconic series of buchi (‘holes’). Initiated in 1949, two years after releasing his First Spatialist Manifesto, these works launched his revolutionary mission: namely, to pierce the inviolable surface of the canvas and, in doing so, to reveal a new uncharted dimension for art. Fascinated by the discoveries of the Space Age, Fontana sought to create a visual language that corresponded to mankind’s renewed understanding of the cosmos, later expanding his buchi into sweeping tagli (‘cuts’). The works on paper formed a crucial strand of his practice, offering a vital forum for experimentation: ‘they amounted to a sort of laboratory of immediacy’, observed Enrico Crispolti (E. Crispolti, Lucio Fontana: paintings, sculptures and drawings, exh. cat., Ben Brown Fine Arts, London, p. 82). In the present work, the faint oval shape encircling the buchi points to the artist’s fascination with the symbolism of the egg, predating his landmark series La Fine di Dio begun three years later.
Post Lot Text
This work is registered in the Archivio Lucio Fontana, Milan under no. 4210/2.
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