3 march 2006—15 may 2006
The State Russian Museum in collaboration with the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto presents the first one-man show of Lucio Fontana in Russia (1989-1968) - the artist of the 20th
century, who incarnated a new idea of the space in his art, the founder of the "Spatialism" movement (Ital. spazio - space). Space is the basic element, form and content of Fontana's art. Fontana perceived the space as a matter, which should be formed combining aesthetic searches and the scientific approach to the problem. Spatialism is a try to overcome the difference between the abstract and the figurative, to obliterate the limits between sculpture and painting. Fontana has never called his work pictures; from the very beginning he named them "spatial concepts". Fontana overcomes the tradition of the easel painting, he creates a situation on the plane of a canvas, which excludes the depth and the horizon, and aspires to show the continuity. 38 works presented at the exhibition are combined by four thematic "approaches" of the artist towards the problem of the space. Space, matter, dynamism.
This section includes works, which reflect the artist's aspiration to show the outer space and the idea of movement that generates the matter. The surface of the canvas, which comes to life due to the "holes" and "stones" is perceived as an ingenuous presence of the matter and space. The painting is not a reflection of something else; it is an expression of the space power. Space as light.
Fontana's interest in light is connected with an aspiration to obliterate the limits between painting and sculpture. Light becomes both "matter and material" according to Giorgio Zanchetti. Fontana uses fragments of the coloured glass, bright yellow background and gold to stress the importance of light as the main element of the work. Metaphysical and "represented space". End of God and Small Theatres.
The search for the ratio between the physical and the abstract leads Fontana to the series of works created by oil in loud harsh tones with gaps reminding wounds with ragged edges. Of these works Fontana has said: "The background colour of these canvases (...) is somewhat ragged and raw and represents the restlessness of contemporary man. The thin lines, on the contrary, represent the journey of man through space, his dismay and terror of losing himself; lastly, the tear is a sudden cry of pain, the final gesture of an anguish that has become unbearable:" Space as space
The "cuts" have become a symbol of the creative trip, which Fontana took in the art. The "cuts" as the preceding "holes" are the marks left by the artist's hand, a ritual act of creation. The "cut" is a decisive fracture of the absoluteness of the canvas's surface. The artist wrote: "My 'cuts' (...) are above all a philosophical expression, an act of faith in the infinite, an affirmation of spirituality. When I sit before one of my canvases to contemplate it, I suddenly feel my spirit expands and relaxes, I feel free from the slavery of matter and part of the vastness of the present and of the future:" The State Russian Museum in collaboration with the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Trento and Rovereto and under patronage of the Lucio Fontana Foundation (Milan, Italy) organised this exhibition.