• Lucio Fontana, Fondo del Mar (Sea Bed), ca. 1940, glazed ceramic, 9 1/2 x 10 5/8 x 10 5/8".

    “Lucio Fontana: Ceramics”

    Aspen Art Museum
    637 East Hyman
    July 27–October 8, 2012

    Curated by Heidi Zuckerman

    Lucio Fontana, founder of the Italian Spatialism movement, is best known today for his slashed canvases of the late 1950s and ’60s. As this exhibition will demonstrate, however, for the three decades before he arrived at his signature gesture, the artist had been productively at work sculpting extraordinary figurative ceramics. The rugged modeling and shiny glazes of these works, which are reminiscent of both Baroque sculpture and funk art, shocked and appalled contemporary Italian critics at a time when Neoclassicism was the norm. Fontana’s intention, however, was more utopian than antagonistic: He sought to connect the sculptural surface with its surrounding environment using reflective color. Featuring approximately twenty ceramics made between the ’30s and the ’60s and one painting dated 1960, this reinvestigation of the artist’s long- overlooked early work will demonstrate how integral sculpture was to Fontana’s stated ambition to create a new “spatial” art.