‘Lucio Fontana. Walking the Space: Spatial Environments, 1948 – 1968’ is the first comprehensive presentation in the US of the late Italian master’s groundbreaking ‘Ambienti spaziali’ (Spatial Environments). Curated by Luca Massimo Barbero in collaboration with the Fondazione Lucio Fontana, Milan, this landmark exhibition highlights Fontana’s critical contribution to the evolution of conceptual art and the confluence of art with science and technology as a means to explore aspects of human perceptual experience. Fontana, a visionary whose revolutionary practice continues to exert influence upon artists internationally, conceived his first environment in 1948, significantly predating and anticipating the immersive conceptual and spatial achievements of such defining figures as Piero Manzoni, Yayoi Kusama, and James Turrell.
Arranged chronologically and beginning with the artist’s first spatial work, the exhibition features nine of Fontana’s environments, dating from the years spanning 1948 to 1968. Due to the rigorous research conducted through the materials of Fondazione Lucio Fontana’s archives, a foundation dedicated to researching and documenting the artist’s career, the exhibition in LA presents meticulous reconstructions of the original Spatial Environments which were historically dismantled and destroyed at the close of exhibition. Together, these ephemeral works reveal the artist’s revolutionary approach to artmaking as a quest to ‘open up space, create a new dimension, tie in the cosmos, as it endlessly expands beyond the confining plane of the picture.’ The most radical, but least well-known area of his oeuvre, the Spatial Environments find Fontana moving beyond the conventions of painting by removing the canvas and using new technology, including neon, to ‘paint’ space with light, putting the viewer at the center of the composition.
‘Walking the Space’ is the first of a trilogy of exhibitions that Hauser & Wirth will present in collaboration with the Fontana Foundation and Luca Massimo Barbero, leading Fontana scholar, Director of the Institute of Art History, Giorgio Cini Foundation, Venice, and Editor of the Fontana works on paper catalogue raisonné and of the Fontana ceramics catalogue raisonné (currently in progress). The Los Angeles exhibition will be followed by an exhibition in New York in Spring 2021, exploring Fontana’s ceramics and sculptures. Subsequently, a major survey of the artist’s full career will be staged at Hauser & Wirth Hong Kong in Fall 2021.
Recurring every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday.Through Sunday, April 12, 2020.
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Hauser & Wirth
901 East 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013