- 款識：藝術家簽名、書題目並題款Che cielo sereno!! Che serenità d'animo（背面）
- 55 x 46公分；21 5/8 x 18 1/8英寸
Sotheby's, London, 29 June 2011, Lot 54 (consigned by the above)
Acquired from the above by the present owner
The artistic theory behind the creation of the Tagli (cuts) was professed in Fontana’s first manifesto, the Manifiesto Blanco, published in 1946. Here Fontana proposed the birth of a new Spatialist art, which sought to articulate the fourth dimension. In this quest, Fontana positioned the artist as the source of creative energy, anticipating future events and engaging with technological advancement; asserting that the artist’s work should aspire to enlighten ordinary people to the possibilities offered by their environment and society. Thus, ever since first puncturing a canvas in 1949, the artist had been singularly committed to the Spatialist mission to explore the conceptual depths beyond the limits of the two-dimensional picture plane.
By the 1960s, Fontana’s practice of breaking through the canvas and into a heretofore unexplored territory had gained newfound relevance alongside ground-breaking concurrent advances in space travel. The ‘Space Race’ had established the moon as the next frontier for human exploration and dominated the global political zeitgeist. As such, Fontana was at pains to emulate this scientific paradigm shift in his artistry: just as Yuri Gagarin broke through the atmosphere to reveal the void behind it, Fontana irrevocably changed the course of art history. To this end, the telleta (the strip of black gauze positioned behind the cut) is as central to an interpretation of this work as the narrow incision itself. It implies the blackness of space and the insurmountable nothingness of the cosmological void. Fontana was explicit with regard to his emulation of the cosmic explorations of his era, and confident in the implication that his actions had for the aesthetic realm: “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 cited in: Exh. Cat., New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Lucio Fontana: Venice/New York, 2006, p. 19).
Despite the intimation of infinite cosmological serenity, there is also an inherent sense of violence to the present work. The single bold striation that permeates its surface is unmistakably a cut wrought by a human hand; its wound-like appearance is enhanced by the ineluctable smoothness of the pulsating red pigment saturating the canvas and seeping from the cut. In this way, the present work almost appears as a contemporary echo of the wounds of Christ on the cross. Christian art delivered the message of salvation through sacrifice, just as in Fontana’s work it is only by enacting the violence on an unblemished surface that the intimation of a new dimension can be attained. Thus, in a manner typical of his subversive artistic voice, in Concetto Spaziale, Attesa, Fontana denigrated the techniques of the European artistic tradition – perspectival recession, oil paint modelling – whilst simultaneously maintaining and recapitulating that Spiritual notion of achieving transfiguration through pain and sacrifice.