This winter, Hauser & Wirth presents the second in a trilogy of exhibitions dedicated to the late Argentine-Italian artist Lucio Fontana, considered among the 20th century’s most inventive artists. Curated by Luca Massimo Barbero, in collaboration with the Fondazione Lucio Fontana, and focused on Fontana’s prolific breakthroughs and experiments in the medium of sculpture, this exhibition will fill the gallery’s uptown location at 32 East 69th Street, the very same address where, in 1961, Fontana’s first solo show in the US was presented at the galleries of the legendary art dealers Martha Jackson and David Anderson.
Lucio Fontana. Sculpture features over 80 works on loan from important institutions and museums, the Fondazione Lucio Fontana and both private and public collections and shines a light on a critical dimension of the artist’s revolutionary practice that is rarely explored in depth outside of Europe. The show makes the most of its credentials, pulling together a wide range of works that both exhibit the artist’s challenging and exploratory attitude to three-dimensional space, while also exhibiting some paintings and drawings that expand and elaborate on the artist’s engagement with space and perception.
The show places particular focus on tension generated between Fontana’s various Spatial Concepts (a title that Fontana started to adopt in 1946 for all of his spatialist works) and his figurative sculptures, made through his unique treatment of matter and color. Visitors will experience a visual journey through Fontana’s extraordinary lifelong creativity, from Concetto spaziale (Spatial Concept) (1949)—the rare and first linen papers punctured with ‘holes’—to the multiform terracotta sculptures of the 1950s and 1960s and such ‘baroque’ works as the spirited Battaglie (Battles) or the astonishing Arlecchino (Harlequin) (1948 – 49).
Part of a focused effort to extend the impact of the artist’s project, and the understanding of his work by both his foundation and the gallery, the show is a powerful and expansive look at the work of one of the 20th Century’s most iconic voices.
The show closes February 4th.
– D. Creahan
Fontana at Hauser & Wirth [Exhibition Site]