First U.S. Museum Exhibit of Ceramic Work by Lucio Fontana at Aspen Art Museum
Lucio Fontana (1899-1968) was an Argentine-Italian artist who continually challenged the boundaries of art-making and the role of the artist, using a rich vocabulary of material, form and action. He is best known for spatial environments called Concetti Spaziale a series of works that featured everything from polychrome and stone sculptures to the slashed canvases he created in the 1950s and 60s.
On display at the Aspen Art Museum from July 27 through October 7, 2012 will be the first U.S. museum exhibition dedicated to the artists groundbreaking ceramic works, which he first began in the 1930s. Fontana produced a body of baroque ceramic work in which he engaged both painting and sculpture. The beauty of chance and accident, which first appeared in his ceramic works, became a strong current in his later artistic explorations. Some of his first Concetti Spaziale were realized in clay before being done on canvas.
Clay was vitally important to his working methods and pivotal in his trajectory as an artist, but has never been accorded its deserved importance. The museum suggests that this exhibition provides a unique opportunity to reexamine the artist’s entire career, via the lens of his works in clay, which were often expressive featuring subject matter from flowers to battle scenes. Vigorously hand modeled the pieces possess an immediacy and a record of the artist’s process. A direct, forceful manipulation of the purity of the surface which gives way to the the violence of the Concetti Spaziale.