Studio Sunday: Lucio Fontana
Lucio Fontana was born in Argentina to Italian parents, and lived alternately in Italy and Argentina throughout his life and career. The artist was known for founding Spatialism, a largely Italian-centered art movement which focused on bringing light, color, and even sound into the “real” world, effectively escaping the bounds of the traditional canvas.
Fontana’s studio, pictured above, looks like quite the place! It looks dark and mysterious like Lucian Freud’s studio, yet somehow less cramped. I’m not sure about the location of this studio, but it looks like an underground tunnel, one that might open up into an even larger space. The studio space itself is full of seemingly disparate artworks – there are paintings, sculptures, and works that look to be somewhere in between.
The artist was perhaps best known for his “Spatial Concept” paintings, which mainly consisted of painted canvases that were then three-dimensionally edited in some fashion. In early works, like the ones pictured above, Fontana would affix rounded stones and pieces of glass to the surface of the painting, creating an extra dimension and aesthetic angle. In later works, the artist’s three-dimensional interventions would take the form of long, straight cuts made into the canvas of monochromatic paintings.
Such an energetic process means the studio space was probably noisy and bustling with activity. This idea, combined with the look of the space, makes me think of Peter Voulkos’ studio.
Fontana had an important influence on European artworks, effectively creating the Spatialism movement as well as contributing to the parallel movement of Arte Provera. Since Fontana’s death in 1968, the artist’s works have been widely collected and have drawn huge sums at auction.