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Between 1946 and 1952, Lucio Fontana (Rosario, Argentina, 1899-Comubbio, Italy, 1968) was one of the authors of a series of manifestos that put forward the ideas of art students and teachers about the need to include a fourth dimension in art. These manifestos, which were published and recognized worldwide, were a result of the recent developments in physics, and reflected in writing the issues that were discussed in classrooms and intellectual circles, concerning the search for a new art.

The first manifesto was published in 1946 in Buenos Aires—a major intellectual hub in Latin America and the place where Fontana was a professor at the Altamira School of Visual Arts. Titled Manifiesto blanco (White Manifesto), it was not signed by Fontana, but he is known to have been one of the authors, along with Bernardo and Pablo Arias, Enrique Benito, César Bernal, Rodolfo Burgos, Horacio Cazeneuve, Luis Coll, Marcos Fridman, Alfredo Hansen, and Jorge Rocamonte.

The second manifesto, Manifesto of Spatialism, was published in Milan in 1947. It was followed by Propuesta de un reglamento (Proposed Rules) in 1948, the IV Manifiesto del Arte Espacial (4th Manifesto of Spatial Art) in 1951, and a text on Spatialism and television in 1952. In fact, Fontana participated in experimental broadcasting sessions by RAI (Radiotelevisione italiana).

We imagine synthesis as the sum total of the physical elements: color, sound, movement, time, space, integrated in physical and mental union. Color, the element of space; sound, the element of time and movement, which develops in time and space. These are fundamental to the new art which encompasses the four dimensions of existence. Time and space.

The new art requires that all of man’s energies be used productively in creation and interpretation. Existence is shown in an integrated manner, with all its vitality.

Manifiesto Blanco (White Manifesto), 1946

Manifiesto Blanco

Manifiesto Blanco, testo ispirato alle idee di Lucio Fontana e redatto da alcuni suoi allievi dellaEscuela libre de arte plàsticas, Buenos Aires 1946. (Volantino dattiloscritto)

Lucio Fontana, Beniamino Joppolo

Lucio Fontana, Beniamino Joppolo, Giorgio Kaisserlian, Milena Milani, Spaziali [Primo Manifesto spaziale], Milano [dicembre] 1947. (Volantino dattiloscritto)

Carlo Cardazzo, Roberto Crippa

Carlo Cardazzo, Roberto Crippa, Lucio Fontana, Giampiero Giani, Beniamino Joppolo, Milena Milani, Proposta di un regolamento Movimento spaziale, Milano 2 aprile 1950. (Volantino dattiloscritto)