Walking the Space: Spatial Environments, 1948 – 1968
February 13 - September 13, 2020
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Join us for the public opening of ‘Lucio Fontana. Walking the Space: Spatial Environments, 1948 – 1968,’ the US debut of the first comprehensive presentation of Lucio Fontana’s (1899 – 1968) groundbreaking ‘Ambienti spaziali’ (Spatial Environments). Fontana, a visionary whose revolutionary practice continues to influence contemporary movements worldwide, conceived of his first environmental work in 1948, predating the conceptual achievements of Robert Irwin, James Turrell, and Donald Judd by more than a decade. Arranged chronologically and beginning with Fontana’s first spatial work, the exhibition will feature 9 self-contained installations spanning from 1948 to 1968, revealing the artist’s revolutionary approach to artmaking in order to ‘open up space, create a new dimension, tie in the cosmos, as it endlessly expands beyond the confining plane of the picture.’ Through collaboration with the Fondazione Lucio Fontana, Milan, this landmark exhibition, curated by Luca Massimo Barbero, will highlight 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.
On opening day, join curator and leading Lucio Fontana scholar Luca Massimo Barbero for a discussion on Fontana’s most radical, but least well-known body of work – the spatial environments – as presented in ‘Walking the Space: Spatial Environments, 1948 – 1968.’ Beginning with Fontana’s first environment, which significantly predates the conceptual achievements of such defining figures as Piero Manzoni, Yayoi Kusama, and James Turrell, the exhibition of nine installations is the most comprehensive US presentation to date of the late Italian master’s groundbreaking spatial environments. This event is free, however, reservations are recommended. Click here to register. About the Exhibition Arranged chronologically and beginning with the artist’s first spatial work, ‘Lucio Fontana. Walking the Space: Spatial Environments, 1948 – 1968’ will feature 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.