The godfather of post-war Italian art, Lucio Fontana punctured, tore and slashed the canvas to create a work of art that was neither painting nor sculpture but what he called a ‘Spatial Concept’. In an era of incredible scientific development, when man’s place in the universe had been radically redefined, Fontana did what no artist had done before and perforated the sacred picture surface itself, incorporating real space and time into his art, while at the same time revealing to the viewer enigmatic black chasms of boundless space beyond: a glimpse of infinity.
Inspired by a trip to Venice, Concetto spazilale, Venezia era tutto d’oro is one of the most dazzling and opulent of Fontana’s iconic works, and the picture I would most like under the Christmas tree.
This work is found in the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid. For a collection of Fontana's work in London head to the Tate Modern.
Words by Annabel Matterson. The Iris Letter December 2016.