'Concetto Spaziale' inscribed 'L. Fontana', clay with brown slip, mounted in a glass fronted box (51.5 x 44cm) 39 x 27.5cm (15 3/8 x 10 13/16in).
In 1958 an article in Domenica del Corriere entitled 'Chi sono I nostri pittori piu importanti?' described Lucio Fontana as one of Italys most important artists. Concetto Spaziale, provides a thrilling vehicle through which to understand how such a statement could be made. The case being that the third and fourth dimension had been bought to the apparently flat surface of the clay through the gesture of the cut. With the cut, Fontana was able to render visually, the principles set out in his Prima manifesto della spazialismo of 1947, the explicit aim of which was to Open up space, create a new dimension of art, tie in with the cosmos as it endlessly expands beyond the confining plane of the picture. Moreover, in both in this example and in the other versions on the same theme, Fontana succeeded in liberating art from its Renaissance heritage. Indeed Concetto Spaziale demonstrates that real space and real voids could be physically introduced into the picture surface and not simply through illusion.
The vertical laceration in Concetto Spaziale is projected forwards by the different hues surrounding it and the exposure of the dark interior within the cut. The viewers eye is led by the sheer power and energy of the cut. Combined these characteristics act as physical testaments of and visual metaphors for the vitality contained within the cosmos, as well as expressing existential anguish.
The importance of the cut in Fontanas work was highlighted in 1977, when Luca wrote implied in this gesture (of cutting) is both the termination of a five hundred year evolution in Western painting and a new beginning for destruction which carries innovation in its wake. The wake was truly significant; indeed Hess claims that Fontana was the inspiration not only of Arte Povera, but the whole notion of Conceptual Art.
Bibliogrpahy B. Hess, Lucio Fontana; a new fact in sculpture, Cologne, 2006