Home / News / Lucio Fontana, a Sculptor but So Perverse

Lucio Fontana, a Sculptor but So Perverse

In 1961, the Argentine Italian artist Lucio Fontana, well-known in Europe for slashing and puncturing his canvases, made his North American debut on the Martha Jackson and David Anderson galleries. It didn’t go effectively. American critics thought the canvases, festooned with items of coloured glass, have been too ornamental — principally kitsch.

Now Fontana returns to the very same constructing at 32 East 69th Road the place that 1961 present befell. “Lucio Fontana Sculpture” is the second in a trilogy of reveals devoted to his work, organized by the artwork historian and curator Luca Massimo Barbero in collaboration with the Fondazione Lucio Fontana, and it’s terrific. (The primary exhibition, in Los Angeles, was devoted to Fontana’s “spatial environments” — the darkened rooms with illuminated sculptural kinds or neon tubing that served as precursors to gentle works by James Turrell and as we speak’s ubiquitous “immersive environments.” That present opened in February 2020, proper earlier than the pandemic plowed by way of the artwork world.)

It’s secure to say that, notably after a profitable current retrospective of his work on the Metropolitan Museum in 2019, Fontana has been absolutely embraced by New Yorkers.

Lucio Fontana, “New York Waterfall,” 1960-1961.Credit score…Fondazione Lucio Fontana by SIAE 2022

Born in Argentina in 1899, Fontana moved to Italy as a younger boy earlier than returning to Argentina throughout World Struggle II. The present present of greater than 80 works, unfold over three flooring, focuses totally on his three-dimensional work sculpted in terra cotta, clay, plaster, steel and concrete. Nonetheless, the exhibition contains one of many work from that 1961 New York debut, the black “Spatial Idea, The Moon in Venice” (1961), speckled with coloured glass and punctured with holes, together with some playfully perverse drawings, like a scrawled “New York Waterfall” (1960-61).

Actually, Fontana’s whole oeuvremight be seen as willfully perverse: He takes the historical past of artwork and makes his personal renditions, an apt response by an individual “compelled” to attract by his artist father, Luigi Fontana, and attempting to make sense of what it means to make artwork after the carnage of World Struggle II. (A photograph within the 2020 Hauser & Wirth exhibition confirmed the artist in his studio constructing in Milan, after getting back from Argentina, the remaining partitions pocked with bullet marks and shrapnel.)

Lucio Fontana, “Nude,” 1926.Credit score…Fondazione Lucio Fontana by SIAE 2022

One of many earliest works right here, the plaster “Nude” from 1926, was made in Argentina, throughout a break from his research on the Brera Academy of Positive Arts in Milan. This small sculpture finds Fontana following the script of Italian artwork, with a curvaceous nude — albeit accomplished within the sanded-down, semiabstract model of Novecento sculptors like Medardo Rosso (1858-1928) that was well-liked on the time.

Then Fontana beneficial properties steam, turning historical past into his personal device. “Victory of Water” (1936), a small, glazed terra-cotta determine recollects the triumphal figures sculpted by the traditional Greeks and Romans, however is expressive and wild, tiny and anti-monumental. The “Battle” collection of terra-cotta works equally sends up the histories of “heroic” Baroque work and struggle monuments, turning armed battle right into a frenzied, sketchy and messy affair. A close-by “Harlequin” (1948-49), made for the Cinema Arlecchino in Milan, dips into the age of Italian commedia dell‘arte, extracting one in all its most well-known characters, who was additionally being resurrected as a logo of Italy’s postwar rebirth.

Set up view of “Lucio Fontana” with “Harlequin,” 1948-1949, within the foreground, and glazed terra cotta works on the wall.Credit score…Thomas Barratt/Hauser & Wirth
Credit score…Fondazione Lucio Fontana by SIAE 2022
“Victory of Water,” 1936.Credit score…by way of Studio la Città, Verona, and Galleria Tonelli, Milan

Close to the tip of his life, Fontana, who died in 1968, lived to see people on the moon — a becoming finish for an artist whose “spatial compositions” have been an necessary contribution to Twentieth-century artwork, as he resisted linear perspective in portray. Now, nevertheless, area was expanded into the galaxies and the universe. There have been “Spatial Idea” sculptures in terra cotta, lacquered copper and steel and colours like surprising pink. Fontana even described one collection from the mid-60s as “figurations of man in area,” or “the types of the inhabitants of different worlds.” One “Spatial Idea” (1967) right here has two steel ovals with cuts set on a tripod, whereas one other is lengthy, missile-shaped and lacquered pink. Each have his signature slashes, however in contrast to his rectangular canvases, these look nearly like scientific devices.

One scholar quoted within the catalog, Enrico Crispolti, asks, “And what if he had solely been a sculptor?” Which means, what if Fontana had been introduced to the world — or a hostile New York artwork world within the early ’60s, engulfed in cool Minimalism — as a sculptor, quite than as a painter?

Lucio Fontana set up view, from left to proper, “Spatial Idea,” 1967, lacquered steel, cuts; “Spatial Idea,” 1968, lacquered copper and lower.Credit score…Thomas Barratt/Hauser & Wirth

“I needed to be a sculptor,” Fontana wrote within the mid-50s. “I might have appreciated to be a painter, too, like my grandfather, however I spotted that these particular artwork phrases are usually not for me, and I felt like a Spatial artist.” His present exhibition grants his want. Fontana could have been confronting area, however he was rethinking and reinventing in concrete kind millenniums of European sculpture. He was, it seems, fairly a sculptor.

Lucio Fontana Sculpture

Via Feb. 4 at Hauser & Wirth, 32 East 69th Road, Manhattan; 212-794-4970, hauserwirth.com.

About yönetici

Check Also

Meet the 2023-24 Aurora-Elgin men’s basketball all-District team

[ad_1] Players from Waubonsie Valley, West Aurora, Oswego East and Class 1A state finalist Aurora …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Watch Dragon ball super