LUCIO FONTANA (1899-1968)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
LUCIO FONTANA (1899-1968)

Concetto spaziale

LUCIO FONTANA (1899-1968)
Concetto spaziale
signed, titled and dated 'l. fontana concetto spaziale 1955' (on the reverse)
pastel on canvas
33 ½ x 27 3/8in. (85 x 69.5cm.)
Executed in 1955
Galleria Pogliani, Rome.
Marlborough Galleria d'Arte, Rome.
Private Collection, Italy.
Anon. sale, Christie's London, 9 December 1999, lot 405.
Private Collection, Israel.
Private Collection, USA.
Anon. sale, Christie’s London, 28 June 2002, lot 130.
Private Collection, Italy.
Tornabuoni Arte, London.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2013.
E. Crispolti, Lucio Fontana, catalogue raisonné des peintures sculptures et environements spatiaux, vol. II, Brussels 1974, no. 55 G 4 (illustrated p. 55).
E. Crispolti, Fontana, catalogo generale, vol. I, Milan 1986, no. 55 G 4 (illustrated p. 186).
E. Crispolti, Lucio Fontana, Catalogo ragionato di sculture, dipinti, ambientazioni, vol I, Milan 2006, no. 55 G 4 (illustrated, p. 342).
P. Gottschaller, The act of creating space: Lucio Fontana, Munich 2008 (illustrated in colour, p. 61).
Paris, Tornabuoni Art, Lucio Fontana, 2009 (illustrated in colour, p. 79).
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. This lot has been imported from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.

Brought to you by

Client Service
Client Service

Lot Essay

Created in 1955, Concetto spaziale is an early example of Lucio Fontana’s radical approach. Against an impasto surface of golden-brown, the artist pierces a constellation of buchi or holes, a technique he had begun experimenting with more than five years prior. With this gesture, Fontana succeeded in transforming the two-dimensional surface of the canvas – the traditional site of artistic creation – into a three-dimensional object that both relates to and encompasses the surrounding space. The buchi were the first artistic manifestation of Spatialism, Fontana’s aesthetic credo which called for a new art which responded to the innovations of the era. Captivated by the scientific and technological discoveries of the post-war period, Fontana believed that art needed to embody the spirit of the times. Indeed, the 1950s were a ground-breaking decade for conceptual art, one which saw the proliferation of Yves Klein’s monochromatic experimentations, the birth of Piero Manzoni’s Achromes, as well as the maturation of Fontana’s buchi.

In his Manifesto Blanco, Fontana wrote, ‘The discovery of new physical forces, control over matter and space gradually impose conditions that have never existed in the whole course of history … Painted canvas and upright plaster no longer have a reason to exist. (L. Fontana, ‘Manifesto Blanco’, 1946, in E. Crispolti & R. Siligato (eds.), Lucio Fontana, exh. cat., Palazzo Delle Esposizioni, Rome, 1998, p. 116). Through his canvas punctures, Fontana found he could introduce space into the flattened pictorial plane; in their grasp towards the cosmos’s infinite expanse, the buchi were the earliest expression of this aesthetic theorisation. ‘When I hit the canvas,’ Fontana recalled, ‘I sensed that I had made an important gesture. It was, in fact, not an incidental hole it was a conscious hole: by making a hole in the picture I found a new dimension in the void. By making holes in the picture, I invented the fourth dimension’ (L. Fontana, quoted in P. Gottschaller, Lucio Fontana: The Artist’s Materials, Los Angeles 2012, p. 21).

More from Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale

View All
View All