• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 3065

    Post-War and Contemporary Art

    1 - 2 November 2016, Amsterdam

  • Lot 40

    Lucio Fontana (1899-1968)

    Concetto spaziale

    Price Realised  


    Lucio Fontana (1899-1968)
    Concetto spaziale
    signed, titled and dated 'l. Fontana "Concetto Spaziale" 1958' (on the reverse)
    aniline and pencil on canvas
    130.5 x 97cm.
    Executed in 1958

    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Contact the department

    Executed in 1958, Concetto spaziale, Forma forms a part of one of Lucio Fontana's rarest series: the Inchiostri, or Inks. It is a mark of the importance of this work that it was shown in so many of the lifetime exhibitions of Fontana's work.
    This is in part a reflection of the importance of the Inchiostri themselves: it was in this series, named because of his extensive use of aniline, a derivative of naturally-occurring indigo, that Fontana, at the end of the year that Concetto spaziale, Forma, was created, would first experiment with the slashes, the Tagli, that have since become the best-known part of his output. Concetto spaziale, Forma can be seen both as a lyrical embodiment of Fontana's notions of Spatialism and as a forum in which he could continue to push back its application in art. The undulating forms that he has created, through the collage elements and dyes, have landscape-like resonances, recalling to an extent the pictures of Joan Miró and allowing a suspicion of figuration that would be taken up again in the Teatrini some years later.
    Within these forms, the almost rectangular form within which Fontana has placed the rhythmic, punctuation-like lines of holes form a poetic counterpoint to the curves of the rest of the surface. Fontana has allowed the collage elements and the ink itself to dominate the surface, the holes an elegant reminder of the three-dimensionality of the picture, a gentle yet insistent hint of the infinities that lie beyond. With its delicate, deliberately understated modulations of colour and nebula-like forms and the haiku-like progression of holes, Concetto spaziale, Forma is a quiet and intensely resonant paean to Space itself.

    Special Notice

    Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
    “ ! ”: Lot is imported from outside the EU. For each Lot the Buyer’s Premium is calculated as 37.75% of the Hammer Price up to a value of €30,000, plus 31.7% of the Hammer Price between €30,001 and €1,200,000, plus 22.02% of any amount in excess of €1,200,000.


    Marlborough Galleria d'Arte, Rome.
    Cattaneo Collection, Brescia.
    Private Collection, Monza.
    Private Collection, Milan.
    Private Collection, Hamburg.
    Anon. sale, Brerarte Milan, 29 November 1984, lot 58.
    Anon. sale, Sotheby's London, 23 February 1989, lot 357.
    Ben Brown Fine Arts, London.


    E. Crispolti, Omaggio a Fontana, Rome 1971, no. 170, p. 162.
    E. Crispolti, Lucio Fontana: catalogue raisonné des peintures, sculptures et environnements spatiaux, vol. II, Brussels 1974, no. 58 I 36 (illustrated, p. 63).
    E. Crispolti, Fontana: catalogo generale, vol. I, Milan 1986, no. 58 I 36 (illustrated, p. 218).
    E. Crispolti, Lucio Fontana: catalogo ragionato di sculture, dipinti, ambientazioni, vol. I, Milan 2006, no. 58 I 36 (illustrated, p. 377).


    L'Aquila, Castello Cinquecentesco, Aspetti dell'arte contemporanea: Omaggio a Cagli, Omaggio a Fontana, Omaggio a Quaroni-retrospettive antologiche, 1963, no. 140.
    Buenos Aires, Centro de Artes, Visuales del Instituto Torcuato di Tella, Lucio Fontana, no. 16.
    Minneapolis, Walker Art Center, Lucio Fontana. The Spatial Concept of Art, 1966, no. 18. This exhibition later travelled to Austin, University of Texas Art Museum.
    Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, Lucio Fontana-Concetti spaziali, 1967, no. 22. This exhibition later travelled to Eindhoven, Stedelijk van Abbemuseum.
    Humlebaek, Louisiana Museum, Fontana, 1967, no. 22.
    Stockholm, Moderna Museet, Fontana. Idéer om rymden, 1967, no. 22.
    Hanover, Kestner-Gesellschaft, Lucio Fontana, 1968, no. 22.
    Zurich, de Pury & Luxembourg, Lucio Fontana, 2002, no. 70.