Lucio Fontana

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Lucio Fontana is a renowned and influential Italian artists whose art had a profound influence on the artistic movements in Italy that took place during the 1960s.

Lucio Fontana was on February 19, 1899, in Rosario de Santa Fe, Argentina, to an Italian father and Argentinean mother. His father, Luigi Fontana, was a notable sculptor. In 1914, he attended the Istituto Tecnico Carlo Cattaneo in Milan. With the outbreak of the WWI, Lucio enlisted himself in the army in 1917, however he met with an accident and his injury led to his early dismissal in 1918. He returned to Milan to complete his engineering studies, however, in 1920, he enrolled himself at the Accademia di Brera to study sculpting.

In 1922, Lucio decided to return to his family in Argentina, where he began working with his father in his sculpting studio. Soon, in 1924, Lucio open his own studio in Rosario di Santa Fe and in 1926, he took part in the first exhibition organized by Nexus, a group of young and aspiring Argentinean artists.

In 1928, he decided to return to Milan to further his education and learning, and once again, he enrolled himself at the Accademia di Brera. He also benefitted from the tutelage of renowned sculptor, Adolf Wildt, who taught him several remarkable techniques of working with gilded plaster and the use of plasticity to create distinguished projects.

In 1930, the Galleria del Milione, located in Milan, organized Lucio’s first solo exhibition that turned out to be a huge critical and commercial success. In 1934, he collaborated with several other abstract Italian sculptors from the Galleria. The following year, Lucio travelled to Paris to join the famous group, Abstraction-Creation, and later the same year, he visited the Sevres factory near Paris, and Albisola in Italy, to train himself in the skill of working with ceramics.

In 1939, Lucio became an active member of the Milanese anti-Fascist artists’ group Corrente. In 1940, he decided to move to Buenos Aires, where, in 1946, with the help of several dedicated students, founded the Academia de Altamira, which later emerged as the “Manifesto Blanco”. In 1947, he returned to Milan and collaborated with several influential writers and philosophers in signing the “Primo Manifesto dello Spazialismo”. He later returned to Albisola, and immersed his time and efforts in working with ceramics and he began to experiment new and innovative ideas with his Concetti Spaziali.

In 1949, Lucio Fontana took the artistic societies of Europe in a fervour with his unique and distinguished style of painting, his early paintings were punctured with buchi (holes) through the canvas. During the 1950s, he was a regular contributor at the Italian Art Informel exhibitions. In 1961, he travelled to New York for an exhibition of his work at the Martha Jackson Gallery.

In 1966, he was commissioned by La Scala in Milan to design opera sets and costumes. Towards the final years of his career, Fontana devoted his efforts to showcasing and exhibiting his work at art galleries all over the world. His work has been exhibited in the 1966 Venice Biennale, and later at the 1968 Documenta, that took place in Kassel, West Germany.

Lucio Fontana passed away on September 7, 1968 in Comabbio, Italy.

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