- Lucio Fontana
- Concetto Spaziale, Attese
- signed, titled and inscribed Un susseguirsi di verdi uno più intenso dell'altro on the reverse
- waterpaint on canvas
Private Collection, Milan (acquired from the above in the 1970s)
Thence by descent to the present owner
Enrico Crispolti, Fontana: Catalogo Generale, Vol. II, Milan 1986, p. 695, no. 68 T 102, illustrated
Enrico Crispolti, Lucio Fontana, Catalogo Ragionato di Sculture, Dipinti, Ambientazioni, Vol. II, Milan 2006, p. 887, no. 68 T 102, illustrated
The first tagli date to the autumn of 1958 and by 1960 Fontana had executed tagli works in an expansive variety of experimental colours including yellow, orange, red, pink, ochre, turquoise, blue, purple, brown, grey, gold, silver, and black. Against this panoply of pigments, the pristine white canvas harnessed powerful connotations of innocence and purity. For Fontana white was, as J. Van der Marck remarked, something that “struck the note of "pure simplicity," "pure philosophy," "spatial philosophy," "cosmic philosophy" to which Fontana more than ever aspired during the last years of his life” (Enrico Crispolti, Lucio Fontana, Catalogue Raisonné des Peintures et Environments Spatiaux, Vol. I, Brussels, 1974, p. 137). Furthermore, it evoked the white of light and heat; a beam of white light holds within it the full spectrum of colour, revealed when it is refracted through an optical prism; congruently white has often symbolised technology and the future, particularly in the decades following the Second World War.
Contemporaneously in tune with a post-war context of technological ambition and progression, Fontana’s oeuvre speaks to the age of space exploration and discovery. With these works Fontana hypothesised overturning accepted norms of three-dimensional Cartesian space by invoking and venturing into the fourth dimension of time. Hence Fontana’s statement that: “the discovery of the Cosmos is that of a new dimension, it is the Infinite: thus I pierce the canvas, which is the basis of all arts and I have created an infinite dimension, an x which for me is the basis for all Contemporary Art” (Lucio Fontana quoted in: Exhibition Catalogue, New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Lucio Fontana: Venice/New York, 2006, p. 19). Though embodying an art historically iconoclastic and destructive act, Concetto Spaziale, Attese simultaneously invokes a futuristic spirit of evolution to engender an object of votive worship offered up to an era of conceptual innovation and radical technological progression.