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Lucio Fontana (Rosario de Santa Fé, 1899 - Comabbio, 1968)
Terracotta with hole and cut, 21 x 31 x 22 cm
On display (inv. no. 626)
Maria Cernuschi Ghiringhelli Collection, acquired in 1989
Artist and indefatigable experimenter, Fontana was one of the key figures in the evolution and progression of Italian and national art of the 20th century, developing a new notion of making art based on the creative moment rather than the finished work.
Founder of the Spatialism movement in 1947, the artist gained international fame thanks to his Tagli (Cuts) begun in 1948, in which he sought to move beyond a traditional illusory sense of space into another dimension, “...it is the infinite, thus I pierce this canvas, which is the basis of all the arts, and I have created an infinite dimension, a hole which for me is the basis of all contemporary art, for those that wish to understand. Otherwise, just keep calling it a hole, never mind”.
There are 5 works in the museum’s collection, three valuable drawings from 1934 and two ceramics, Uovo nero orizzontale and Piatto savonese. The drawings reference his early abstract experiences, fleshed out in his first solo sculpture exhibition at the Il Milione gallery in 1935. Executed in pencil on white paper with a continuous fine line, they anticipate the explorations of the potential of space which the artist would later express.
The Piatto and the Uovo nero came later and attest to the artist’s great attraction to a pliable material such as ceramic, and its link with Alibisola, where Fontana, already present at the end of the ‘40s, was a regular at the Mazzotti factory and where he had a small studio in Pozzo Garitta from 1947 to 1960. The two works were exhibited in the museum's opening exhibition in February 1985; the Uovo, clearly linked to the “Nature” series, was displayed with its vertical twin, later moved in the collection of Gio Pomodoro. The artist called these sculptures le Virginie and they bear his famed gesture-mark, the artist’s stylistic hallmark, incised on the glazed terracotta.