Al Met Breuer si è inaugurata mercoledì 23 gennaio la mostra principale su Lucio Fontana. La stessa sera l’Istituto Italiano di Cultura ha aperto una mostra dedicata all’influenza di Lucio Fontana sull’arte italiana. Mentre la sede principale del Metropolitan Museum e il Museo del Barrio espongono ognuno una singola opera ambientale dell’artista.
La mostra Lucio Fontana: On the Threshold è in corso fino al 14 aprile al Met Breuer sede del Metropolitan Museum, dedicata all’arte del XX e XI secolo.
Questa è la prima retrospettiva che gli Stati Uniti dedicano all’artista italo-argentino in più di quattro decenni.
Le oltre ottanta opere in mostra, selezionate in collaborazione con la Fondazione Lucio Fontana, sono disposte tra il terzo e quinto piano del Met Breuer. Comprendono sculture, ceramiche, dipinti, disegni e ambienti realizzati tra il 1931 e il 1968 e due delle principali opere dell’artista che Intesa Sanpaolo ha prestato: Concetto spaziale: la Luna a Venezia, 1961, e Concetto spaziale: attese, 1967.
Lucio Fontana: On the Threshold—the first retrospective of the Argentine-Italian artist in the United States in more than four decades—will reassess the legacy of this key postwar figure through a selection of exquisite sculptures, ceramics, paintings, drawings, and environments made between 1931 and 1968. The founder of Spatialism and one of the most innovative artists of the 20th century, Lucio Fontana (1899–1968) is widely known for his series of slashed paintings from 1958 known as the Cuts (Tagli) that became symbols of the postwar era. The exhibition at The Met Breuer will present extraordinary examples of this iconic series, and will also explore Fontana’s beginnings as a sculptor and his pioneering work with environments, contextualizing the radical nature of the Cuts within the artist’s broader practice.
The exhibition is made possible by The International Council of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Additional support is provided by the Jane and Robert Carroll Fund and the Aaron I. Fleischman and Lin Lougheed Fund, and the Modern Circle.
It is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art in collaboration with the Fondazione Lucio Fontana.
“Fontana radically expanded the picture plane into a third dimension. His groundbreaking approach represents a seismic moment for 20th- century art, transforming paintings, sculptures, and objects into new concepts of space and experimental environments,” said Max Hollein, Director of The Met. “A witness to the historical, cultural, and technological developments that defined the postwar period, his work reflects the influence of a wide range of styles from art history and an irreverence towards hierarchies and conventions”.
“In addition to exploring Fontana’s early foray into sculpture and ceramics, it was his audacious laceration of the flat single-color canvas of 1958 that has come to identify him one of the most iconic artists of the 20th-century. A dual citizen of Argentina and Italy, his work reflects a variegated sensibility that through the exhibition’s many highlights makes us aware of the radical essence of painting—literally slashing through the surface of history to open up a door to another time and spatial dimension”, said Sheena Wagstaff, Leonard A. Lauder Chairman of Modern and Contemporary Art.
Though known primarily as a painter, Fontana was well into his career when, in 1949, he used a canvas for the first time. The exhibition will present examples of his first series of perforated paintings titled Holes (Buchi), as well as paintings loaded with heavy impasto or incrusted with Murano glass that preceded the Cuts (Tagli).
On the Thresholdunpacks Fontana’s approach to painting by reevaluating his work in sculpture and decorative arts. His early career was marked by a period of fertile experimentation, whether challenging sculptural norms in Italy by using clay or actively participating in the Argentine avant-garde, Fontana’s early work from the 1930s and 1940s point toward the transgressive nature of his slashes two decades later. The show will present highlights from this period, including sculptures of women, warriors, and delicate ceramics inspired by undersea imagery.
Through Spatialism, Fontana pursued a synthesis of the arts, and his multidisciplinary approach expanded the notion of the art experience to embrace the surrounding space. He was a pioneer of environments—what he called Ambienti spaziali—and his experiments with light and space, including his use of neon, set the course for exciting future developments in environments and installation art. On the Thresholdwill include the reconstruction of the artist’s monumental neon arabesque Neon Structure for the Ninth Milan Triennial (1951) (opening January 28 and will be on view in gallery 913 at The Met Fifth Avenue) as well as two immersive installations never before presented in this country: Spatial Environment “Utopias,” at the Thirteen Milan Triennial(1964) and Spatial Environment in Red Light(1967).
Lucio Fontana: On the Threshold is curated by Iria Candela, Estrellita B. Brodsky Curator of Latin American Art in The Met’s Department of Modern and Contemporary Art, with assistance from Aimé Iglesias Lukin, Research Associate, Department of Modern and Contemporary Art.
Following its presentation at The Met Breuer, the exhibition will travel to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao from May 17 through September 29, 2019.
To coincide with the exhibition at The Met Breuer, El Museo del Barrio will present Fontana’s last environment SpatialEnvironment at Documenta 4, in Kassel (1968).
Accompanied by a catalogue, $50.00
An illustrated catalogue will accompany the exhibition with essays by international experts addressing his work from both an Italian and Argentine perspective, providing numerous insights into Fontana’s expansive practice. Archival images of environments, public commissions, and the artist’s studio accompany illustrations covering his production from 1930 to the late 1960s, establishing a fresh approach to an artist who responded to the political, cultural, and technological thresholds that defined the mid-20th century. The catalogue will bepublished by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and distributed by Yale University Press.
The catalogue is made possible by the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, Inc.
Lucio Fontana (1899–1968), a major figure of postwar European art, blurred numerous boundaries in his life and his work. Moving beyond the slashed canvases for which he is renowned, this book takes a fresh look at Fontana's innovations in painting, drawing, ceramics, sculpture, and installation art. Most notably, it reevaluates the influence of his native Argentina, where many of his conceptual breakthroughs occurred.
Fontana pushed the painterly into the sculptural and redefined the relationship between mediums. Archival images of environments, public commissions, installations, and now-destroyed pieces accompany lavish illustrations of his work from 1930 to the late 1960s, providing a new approach to an artist who helped define the political, cultural, and technological thresholds of the mid- twentieth century.
Iria Candela is Estrellita B. Brodsky Curator of Latin American Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Three of Fontana's environments have been reconstructed for this exhibition: two are currently on view at The Met Breuer on Floor 3 and Floor 5, and a third opens at The Met Fifth Avenue on January 28 in gallery 913.
To coincide with the exhibition at The Met Breuer, El Museo del Barrio is presenting Fontana's last environment, Spatial Environment at Documenta 4, in Kassel (1968).
Tuesday–Thursday: 10 am–5:30 pm; Friday and Saturday: 10 am–9 pm; Sunday: 10 am–5:30 pm; Closed Monday.
Lucio Fontana: On the Threshold
Dal 23/01/ al 14/04/2019
A cura di: Iria Candela; Estrellita B. Brodsky, Curator of Latin American Art in The Met’s Department of Modern and Contemporary Art, with assistance from Aimé Iglesias Lukin, Research Associate, Department of Modern and Contemporary Art.
Orari: Tuesday–Thursday: 10 am–5:30 pm; Friday and Saturday: 10 am–9 pm; Sunday: 10 am–5:30 pm; Closed Monday
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