Though at the peak of his career Fontana was mostly known as a painter, he first used a canvas at age fifty-one and remained attached to sculpture throughout his lifetime. In the 1950s, the movement known as Informalism or Art Informel had set the style rules for painting in postwar Europe. Fontana was sensitive to this trend because of its characteristic semipictorial, semisculptural processes, similar to that of modeling clay. At the end of the decade, he started working on a series of colored sculpture series titled Nature from his studio located in Albissola. The artist described the large, roughly formed balls of terracotta with cuts or holes as “nothingness, or the beginning of everything.”