'With the slash I invented a formula that I don't think I can perfect. I managed with this formula to give the spectator an impression of spatial calm, of cosmic rigour, of serenity in infinity' (L. Fontana, quoted in E. Crispolti, Lucio Fontana: Catalogo ragionato di sculture, dipinti, ambientazioni, vol. I, Milan 2006, p. 105).
With its radiant expanse of colour, violated with a perfected cut through its centre, Concetto spaziale, Attesa is a beautiful example of Fontana's celebrated tagli, or 'cuts' series. By penetrating the canvas and neatly bisecting the painting, the artist opens up a space beyond the flat surface of the picture plane towards the infinite space beyond. His cut suggests stillness and quiet, a break into the void of space and the mystery of the unknown. Executed in 1962, Concetto spaziale, Attesa was first in the collection of the Florentine art critic Carla Lonzi, an emblematic figure in Italian feminism and a regular of the 1960s Italian art scene. Lonzi entertained meetings and conversations with the most relevant artistic figures of the time, such as Jannis Kounellis, Luciano Fabro, Pino Pascali, Giulo Paolini, Enrico Castellani, and Lucio Fontana himself. Lonzi experienced the works of art as encounters with the unique personality of their makers. In Autoritratto, her special collection of interviews and conversations, Fontana’s insight is embodied in these words, perfectly picturing the investigation of space at the core of Concetto spaziale, Attesa: 'The discovery of the Cosmos,' said Fontana, 'is a new dimension, it is the infinite: so when I pierce this canvas, which was basic to all the arts, then I have created an infinite dimension, an X that for me is at the very base of all of Contemporary Art' (L. Fontana, quoted in C. Lonzi, ‘Interview with Lucio Fontana’, in Autoritratto, 1969, p. 169).