Lucio Fontana: Retrospective

Lucio Fontana, Concetto Spaziale, 1963 (courtesy Tornabuoni Art, Paris © Fondazi
Lucio Fontana, Concetto Spaziale, 1963 (courtesy Tornabuoni Art, Paris © Fondazione Lucio Fontana, Milano / by SIAE / Adagp, , Paris 2014)

Tom McGlynn reviews the recent exhibition Lucio Fontana: Rétrospective at the Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris.

McGlynn writes: "There is a visionary quality to Fontana’s work that tends to actively resist interpretation. It is as if his early itinerant experiences begat a hermetic sensibility about the constancy of an exterior existence. Despite the changing nature of the works in the show, his gestures of scarifying, digging, scraping, slashing, and puncturing take on the urgency of a sequentially staked-down territory. Fontana’s conceptual field of light and real space is one that is being constantly ripped, not apart, but together, as indices of light-filled being stuck in place. When one begins to discover this about Fontana’s work, a chance the retrospective offers, his signature vertical wound/wombs take on a much larger significance than their (often critically overstated) transgression of the picture plane. The show helps Fontana’s work escape simply being an art historical cipher of modernist style and lays out his more personal ambition to connect with a universal need to make one’s mark within the more limited history of one’s earthly existence."