Lucio Fontana

Lucio Fontana was born on the 19th of February 1899 in Rosario de Santa Fé (Argentina) from Italian immigrants: his father Luigi was a sculpture and his mother, Lucia Bottino, was a theater actress. From 1914 to 1917, he studied at Scuola di Edilizia in Milano. In 1917 he joined the army but being wounded, he left the military in 1918. At the end of the war, he started his art studies at Accademia di Brera in Milano. Lucio Fontana left for Argentina for some years, where he realized the first sculptures.

In 1928 he came back to Italy (Milan), where he explored every aspect related to material and abstraction. Two years later, he funded together with others the group of Italian Abstractism. His first solo show was in 1930. From 1939 to 1945, he was based in Buenos Aires where he started his “art protest” against the war. 

His art became famous after the Second World war: Fontana’s gesture is resolutive, scrachting, piercing, cutting and breaking the space of the canvas or the paper.

In 1946, he created “Manifesto bianco” announcing the end of the painted canvas and establishing a more dynamic art, a change both in the content and the process.

Back in Milan in 1947, he published “Manifesto spaziale”. At the end of the Fourties, Fontana he realized some neon arabesques that he set up according to the places, aiming to create “spatial environment”. He announced the end of art, he painted interstellar abstraction and then monochromes. Later according to his aim to “open the space”, he cut his canvases with a knife. In 1960 he returned to simple shapes, painted of sculpted, with his object sculptures.

Lucio Fontana died in 1968 in Varese.


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