In Concetto spaziale, Attese, Fontana achieves his conceptual breakthrough by conjoining two seemingly opposites: creation and destruction. With his radical act of taking a blade to the canvas and inserting a third dimension into a two-dimension plane surface, Fontana dissolves the boundaries of the pictorial space entering a new realm of artistic discovery.
In the present work, seven rhythmic slashes penetrate into the purity of the monochrome alluding to the eternal cosmic order, where time, space and movement are synthesized. Within this new sculpted space mankind is left alone to confront himself with the vastness of the universe.
Although this attack on the painting was frequently interpreted as a violent and destructive act, Fontana defended his work as a creative exploration of an intangible phenomena. This process is indeed the resurrection of the canvas: "The cuts or rather the holes..., did not signify the destruction..., the abstract gesture of which I have been accused so often...it introduced a dimension beyond the painting itself; this was the freedom to produce art whatever means and in whatever form" (Fontana, quoted in S. Whitfield, Lucio Fontana, exh. cat., London, October 1999, p. 122).
Fontana's advanced investigation has never had any representative intension, whereas the aim was largely symbolic. It was not the realization of the work that interested him, but the process that led to it. The void surrounded by the canvas is the real subject of the painting, that space that immortalizes a fleeting moment for eternity. "I don't want to make a picture I want to open a space, to create a new dimension for art, to connect it up with the cosmos as it lies infinitely outstretched, beyond the flat surface or the image" ( Fontana, quoted in G. Brownstone, Lucio Fontana, Paris 1970, p. 8). Simultaneously iconic and iconoclastic, the cut became almost the poster for the Spatialism movement he pioneered and one of the most emblematic contribution to the evolution of Post-War art.