b. Rosario, Argentina, 19 February 1899 – d. Varese, Italy, 7 September 1968
Lucio Fontana, painter of Argentinian descent, is famous for his slashed canvases, which are both artworks and performances. In 1946, along with other artists and intellectuals, he wrote the Manifesto Blanco (White Manifesto), a portent of the Spacialism movement, of which he would become a founder. Fascinated by the exploration of space, Fontana began to favour gesture over matter: in 1949 he finalised the first of his canvases pierced with holes. In Milan, in 1958, he exhibited his Concetti Spaziali for the first time. These were monochrome canvases whose surfaces were slit with a precise gesture, radically reinventing the approach to creating a painting.
Lucio Fontana’s pieces can be found in the most prestigious museum collections and his work has been showcased in major retrospectives at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina SofÍa in Madrid (1998), the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris (2014), and the Met Breuer in New York (2019).