Lucio Fontana. La cultura dell’occhio (Culture of the Eye)

From 20 June 1986 to 28 September 1986

Curated by Rudi Fuchs, Johannes Gachnang, Cristina Mundici and Alessandra Canterini

By overcoming two opposing rationales, both of which are extraneous to what is represented on the canvas (be this figurative or abstract), the cuts that Lucio Fontana makes on his monochrome surfaces denote the realisation of a purely objective relationship between the artist and the work, defined by the connection between tangible and conceptual experiences, that is between bodily gestures and cognitive thought processes and the fantastic, immediate sense of release that is generated by this connection.
The ability of a work to define autonomously the space and time it exists in forms the basis of Fontana’s concept of art, which he began to develop in the late 1940s and early 1950s with works such as the white neon piece included in this exhibition, which describes an arabesque of pure light on the ceiling. During the 1950s he furthered his investigations with various series of paintings that followed an Informal aesthetic, whereby the artist first studded the surfaces with materials such as stones and glass fragments, before violently ripping them repeatedly, creating holes in the canvas that contrasted with the decorative elements and formed a short circuit between the decoration and deconstruction of the pictorial space. Further works made by Fontana in the 1960s continued to explore the infinite possibilities of the canvas’s representational space, to the point that he started cutting the frames themselves to resemble natural forms, which in turn revealed the space itself to be artificial.
This exhibition featured a succession of drawings, paintings, sculptures, installations and spatial investigations by Fontana which, like all of his art, acted as filters capable of making the viewer aware that space and time are practicable mental notions or “spatial concepts”. By alluding to a possible interaction with these concepts in the concrete reality of a work, the artist unveils the underlying fundamental complexity of our most common, shared experiences.
[A.V.]

From 20 June 1986 to 28 September 1986