Lucio Fontana (b. 1899, Rosario de Santa Fe, Argentina–d. 1968, Comabbio, Italia) was one of the most innovative artists of the 20th century. A witness to the political, cultural, and technological transformations that defined his era, Fontana became an essential reference in post-war European art, due to the systematic cutting of the painted canvas with the help of a stiletto, starting in 1958. This extraordinarily radical gesture emblematizes the anxiety haunting a historical period that was marked by Cold War and the conquest of outer space. Although Fontana put painting at the center of his investigations, his practice covers a much vaster and complex territory that he addressed with the concept of Spatialism. Evoking the synthesis of all art forms, this term encompassed multiple regimes of representation and materiality, and included sculpture as well as scenography. Looking at the fascinating complexity of the artist’s oeuvre, Lucio Fontana. On the Threshold comprehends a large selection of paintings, sculptures in bronze and ceramic, drawings, and “ambienti”, created by Fontana between 1929 and 1968. This ambitious survey will offer to the Museum’s visitors a unique opportunity to assess the historical legacy of this fundamental figure.
Exhibition organized by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in collaboration with the Fondazione Lucio Fontana and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.
Curators: Iria Candela, Estrellita B. Brodsky Curator of Latin American Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Manuel Cirauqui, Curator, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao