Executed in 1953, only a year after Fontana had exhibited his Bucchi for the first time, Concetto spaziale has a constellation-like appearance that is perfectly suited to the Spatialism pioneered by the artist. The holes, which had first appeared in works on paper in 1949 and which had gradually developed over the intervening years, perforate the picture surface in the same way that the stars were thought of old to have punctured the firmament above. In this way, Fontana has opened up a third dimension in the picture plane, introducing Space in both a literal and a metaphorical sense.
The play of light and dark in Concetto spaziale is made all the more absorbing by the presence of the various fragments of glass that decorate the surface, creating glistening focal points and lending the work a baroque air. These shards comprise two forms which appear reminiscent of two falling Icarus figures, tumbling through the Cosmos; however, in the context of Fontana's work, it is clear that any human outline in these forms should be considered to embody not the punishment of Man's hubris in trying to fly, but instead a vision of a future in which, like angels, the man of the rocket age would be able to soar to space, as befits the thoughts of the founder of the Spatial movement. In Concetto spaziale, these men of the future have already been lent a veneer of immortality by the implication that they themselves have been cemented into the astrological and astronomical layout of the heavens.