Lucio Fontana (1899-1968)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE GERMAN COLLECTION
Lucio Fontana (1899-1968)

Concetto spaziale, Attese

Lucio Fontana (1899-1968)
Concetto spaziale, Attese
signed, titled and inscribed 'l. Fontana concetto spaziale ATTESE Si sta facendo notte e non ci vedo quasi più' (on the reverse)
waterpaint on canvas
39 3/8 x 31 7/8in. (100 x 81cm.)
Executed in 1967
Galerie Schmela, Dusseldorf.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1968.
E. Crispolti, Lucio Fontana Catalogue raisonné des peintures, sculptures et environnements spatiaux, vol. II, Brussels 1974, no. 67 T 73, p. 192 (illustrated, p. 193).
E. Crispolti, Lucio Fontana Catalogo generale, vol. II, Milan 1986, no. 67 T 73 (illustrated, p. 668).
E. Crispolti, Lucio Fontana Catalogo Ragionato di Sculture, Dipinti, Ambientazioni, vol. II, Milan 2006, no. 67 T 73 (illustrated, p. 854).
Wuppertal, Von der Heyd-Museum, Kunst-und Museumsverein, Hommage Fontana, 1969, no. 38.
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.

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Anne Elisabeth Spittler
Anne Elisabeth Spittler

Lot Essay

'It does not matter to us if a gesture, once completed, lives but a moment or a millennium, because we are truly convinced that, once completed, it is eternal'.
L. Fontana, quoted in F. Sirmans, Maurizio Cattelan, exh. cat., The Menil Collection, Houston, 2010, unpaged.

Lucio Fontana created Concetto spaziale, Attese, a sky-blue example of his famous Tagli comprising four of his signature cuts, in 1967. Two years later - and the year after his death - this picture was one of the works by the artist included in the posthumous Hommage à Fontana, an exhibition held in Wuppertal, Von der Heyd-Museum, Kunst-und Museumsverein. At that exhibition, a tribute was paid to Fontana's importance to post-war European art by showing his own pictures, including Concetto spaziale, Attese, alongside those of a range of his contemporaries including Enrico Castellani, Piero Manzoni, Otto Piene, Gunter Uecker and the French artist, Yves Klein. All of these artists were considered, on one level or another, to have had a dialogue with Fontana's own works.
Klein and Fontana had struck up an affinity when they first met. Indeed, Fontana had bought several of Klein's works, becoming an admirer of his vision from the very beginning of his mature artistic career. Looking at Concetto spaziale, Attese, one wonders if there was not some element of that friendship with the sadly-deceased Klein at work in Fontana's choice of colour, blue. After all, as he himself declared, Klein was one of the few people working on a similar wavelength to his own: 'Klein is the one who understands the problem of space with his blue dimension. He is really abstract, one of the artists who have done something important' (Fontana, quoted in T. Trini, 'The last interview given by Fontana', pp.34-36, W. Beeren & N. Serota (ed.), Lucio Fontana,, Amsterdam & London, 1988, p. 34). In Concetto spaziale, Attese, the blue of the canvas is in fact far lighter than the intense, dark International Klein Blue, the colour that the French artist would come to patent. However, it still recalls the colour of the sky, which Klein himself had claimed as his own first major work of art. And for Fontana, the Spatial artist obsessed with flight, with shrugging off the bonds of gravity, there could be little more eloquent or inviting than the blue of the sky, which hints at realms of space behind its veil of blue. Similarly, Fontana's four lacerations of Concetto spaziale, Attese, streaking down it like the traces of jet-stream across a faultless sky, indicate the profound depth of the universe beyond the surface of the canvas itself.

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