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Lucio Fontana: On the Threshold at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

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With Lucio Fontana. On the threshold, The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao presents a new approach to the legacy of one of the major artists of the 20th century. Drawing on a careful selection of some 100 objects, including sculptures, ceramics, paintings, works on paper, and environments created between 1931 and 1968, this exhibition takes us through the fundamental periods of the work of one of the most influential post-war artists.
 
AFontana's early works from the 1930s and 1940s illustrate a trajectory that evolved towards abstraction but was permeable to the aesthetic currents that marked those complex years. At the same time, they already herald the desire to transgress the lacerated canvases that would dominate his later production.
 
Portrait of the artist © Fondazione Lucio Fontana, Bilbao, 2019

 
The exhibition presents an extraordinary selection of works from the iconic series of Gashes (Tagli), as well as the very first Holes (Buchi), pieces whose radicality places them at the border between painting, sculpture and artistic action.
With his Spatial Environments (Ambienti spaziali) and his experiments with light and space, sometimes using neon tubes, Fontana lays the foundations for the future development of installation art and immersive artwork.
 
Lucio Fontana (1899-1968)
Ambiente spaziale a luce rossa (Ambiente spaziale a luce rossa), 1967/2019 - Painted wood, glass tubes, neon and mixed technique 220 × 600 × 490 cm
Reconstruction authorised by Fondazione Lucio Fontana - Pirelli HangarBicocca 2017 project
Fondazione Lucio Fontana, Bilbao, 2019

 
On the threshold offers a transversal and complete vision of an artist grappling with the conflicts and anxieties that haunted much of the 20th century: from the re-examination of classicism by the avant-garde, the aesthetics linked to the European totalitarian movements, the Second World War and the international reorganization of artistic movements in the post-war period, to the technological tidal wave of the so-called space age.
 
Lucio Fontana (1899-1968)
Olympic Champion (Athlete pending) [Campione olimpionico (Atleta in attesa)], 1932
Polychrome plaster 121 × 92 × 70 cm
Collezione d'Arte e di Storia della Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio, Bologna, Italy
Fondazione Lucio Fontana, Bilbao, 2019

 
Based on a rigorous selection of some one hundred objects - sculptures, ceramics, paintings, works on paper and environments created between 1931 and 1968 - this exhibition highlights the different periods of the work of one of the most influential creators of the post-war period.
 
Commissioners Iria Candela, Estrellita B. Brodsky Curator of Latin American Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, with Manuel Cirauqui, Curator, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.
 
Photo from left to right :
Juan Ignacio Vidarte General Director of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao; Iria Candela, "Estrellita B. Brodsky," Curator of Latin American Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Paolo Laurini, President, Fondazione Fontana; and Manuel Cirauqui, Curator of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.

 
Exhibition organized by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, in collaboration with the Fondazione Lucio Fontana in Milan and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.
 
 
Header image : Lucio Fontana (1899-1968) Spatial Concept, Waiting (Concetto Spaziale, Attesa), 1968 - Canvas, slit 61.4 × 50.3 cm - Vitart, Switzerland © Fondazione Lucio Fontana, Bilbao, 2019
 

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