Beyond the Canvas: Fontana's Quest for Cosmic Dimensions


This May in New York, Sotheby’s will offer a seminal work from this era-defining series, painted in vivid cadmium yellow, from the collection of Cindy and Howard Rachofsky - passionate collectors, visionaries and, not least, philanthropists of the highest order, whose invaluable support has completely transformed the artistic landscape of their hometown Dallas and beyond. The densely pierced ovoid canvas will be presented as a highlight of Sotheby’s major Contemporary Evening Auction on May 15 with an estimate of $20-30 million – making this one of the most valuable works by Fontana ever to appear on the market. Ahead of its auction, Concetto spaziale, La fine di Dio will go on view in Sotheby’s galleries in Milan from April 5-11 and then again as part of the company’s preview exhibitions in New York from May 2-15.

Of the 38 monumental paintings that make up this series, Concetto Spaziale, La fine di Dio is one of only four Fontana created in yellow - with the other three housed in esteemed private collections around the world. This particular version is, however, unarguably one of the most important and accomplished of the entire series, having been a highlight of the artist’s retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2019. The work is differentiated by the all-over density of its punctures, around which thickly built-up layers and globs of impasto coalesce, resulting in a composition that sears with visual drama and heightened intensity.

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