"The physics of this age, for the first time, expresses nature through dynamics. It is determined how movement is an immanent condition to matter as the principle of the condition of the universe."
Battaglia of 1950 is amongst the Baroque works of the artist that stands out for its significant size and its highly ornate decoration, moulded in high relief and heightened by crackle glaze, highlighting the dramatic movement suggested in the represented battle scene. It is part of a series of battle scenes that Fontana created from 1947 onwards using different supports, such as plates and vases but also free-sculpted pieces to evoke the representations of warriors and soldiers on horseback, armed with lances and spears arousing an imagery of a time long passed by. In this Battaglia Fontana’s warriors and horses turn into symbols of energy and dynamism, seeming to abandon the flat surface and move in space with “baroque impetus”. The light and the colours of the figurative reliefs seem to configure an emotional landscape in which energy animates matter in a possibility of spatial suggestion.
This Battaglia, together with the great pair of plates Guerrieri a Cavallo of 1950 exhibited at the Venice Biennale of the same year, represent the only three exemplars of this kind ever made by Fontana. Battaglia of 1950 confirms once again Fontana's overcoming of the traditional practices of the visual arts. Neither painting nor sculpture but continuity of space in matter.
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