Lot 3
  • 3

LUCIO FONTANA | Concetto Spaziale, Attesa

800,000 - 1,200,000 EUR
bidding is closed


  • Lucio Fontana
  • Concetto Spaziale, Attesa
  • signed l. Fontana, titled "Concetto Spaziale"/ ATTESA and inscribed Buon viaggio e / buon fine (on the reverse)
  • waterpaint on canvas
  • 61 x 50,5 cm; 24 x 19  7/8  in.
  • Executed in 1967.


Private Collection (acquired directly from the artist)
Private Collection (by descent from the above)
Sotheby's, London, Contemporary Art Day, 24 June 2004, lot 237
Acquired from the above sale by the present owner


Enrico Crispolti, Lucio Fontana: Catalogue Raisonné des Peintures, Sculptures et Environnements Spatiaux, Vol. II, Brussels, 1974, p. 192, no. 67 T 71, illustrated
Enrico Crispolti, Lucio Fontana Catalogo Generale, Volume Secondo, Milan, 1986, p. 667, no. 67 T 71, illustrated
Enrico Crispolti, Lucio Fontana. Catalogo ragionato di sculture, dipinti, ambientazioni, Tomo II, Milan, 2006, p. 861, n. 67 T 71, illustrated


The colours are fairly accurate in the printed catalogue illustration although it does not accurately convey the neon aspect of the fuchsia colour. The work is executed on its original canvas and is not relined. The rim presents very faint wear marks long the top edge at a few areas. Under Ultra Violet Light inspection there is no evidence of restoration. This work is in very good condition.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

Catalogue Note

The work of art is not eternal; and his creations exist in time, and where man ends, the infinite continues.
Lucio Fontana
Forcefully pierced with one single slash on the monochrome surface, the bright surface of Concetto Spaziale, Attesa from 1967 draws the viewer into a sensation of space. The viewer is confronted with infinity through the perfect balance of the tension in the canvas and void of the blackness beyond. Through his clean, crisp cut, he creates movement and space, letting the idea unfold that "sculpture and painting are both things of the past, we need a new form. Art that's movement. Art within space." (Lucio Fontana cited in Hedy. A. Giusti, 'But Nobody Mentions Milan Art'. Rome Daily American, 9 July 1954, in Anthony White, 'Lucio Fontana: Between Utopia and Kitsch', Grey Room, No. 5, Automn 2001, p. 56).

The artwork is representative of Fontana's most recognized series and dates back to the period of his finest work, when the artist was at the height of his international career. Just a year before creating Concetto Spaziale, Attesa, he filled an entire room with all white works from the the series Tagli at the Venice Biennale, stating that he found a way of "giving the spectator an impression of spatial calm, of cosmic rigour, of serenity in infinity" (Crispolti, p.38). Here, rather than the cool of that white room, Fontana has opted for a luminous, fluorescent colour that recalls the vibrant years of the sixties.

The artist worked on five different manifestos which paved the way for the genesis of  Spazialismo (Spatialism), the art movement he founded as early as 1947. He first started exploring the concept with the first Manifesto Blanco (White Manifesto), in which he declared, "we don't care if a gesture, once performed, lives for a moment or a millennium, since we are truly convinced that once performed it is eternal."

This approach can be compared to the explorations of various other avant-garde artists of the mid-twentieth century who were also questioning the use of space and the performing act of creating an artwork.  We may observe a similar approach in Yves Klein's bright monochromes or  in Dan Flavin's luminous installations, which emphasize the use of natural elements such as light and air.

The Tagli are arguably considered to be some of the most sought-after and varied group of works ever created by Fontana, and it is no surprise that they are along the top ten auction records for the artist. Works such as Concetto Spaziale, Attesa, which are of exceptional quality, serve to underscore the historical importance of Lucio Fontana, highlighting his unique vision and placing him at the forefront of post-war history.