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Lucio Fontana, between sex and religion

Many artists are judged hastily with an image that aims to summarize an entire work. In the case of the Italo Argentinian Lucio Fontana (Rosario, 1899-Varese, 1968) the tables with incisions made with a cutter fulfill that simplifying function. But the exhibition about the creator that the Guggenheim has presented this morning shows that there is much more in his career.

Before the first clean cut or torn on the canvas, in 1958, already had a career as a sculptor who had started in the workshop of tombstones and funerary monuments of his father. And after those brands that became his hallmark, he was ahead of the art of installations with environments and spaces illuminated by neons with which he wanted to involve the viewer, one of the recurring concerns of his proposals.

With the cuts made on the canvas – a prolific series that he called 'Spatial concept' – he wanted to use his body in a gesture that opposed the patterns of the mechanized world. "It also represents the origin of the world through the cleft of the female sexual organ and the wound of the crucified Christ, which connects him with his Catholic tradition," explained one of the curators of the exhibition, the Guggenheim curator Manuel Cirauqui.

In the Jewish religion, added the curator Iria Candela, who organized the exhibition for the Metropolitan of New York, the dead are tearing their clothes before receiving burial. It was told by a person participating in a guided tour. This plurality of meanings reveals the richness behind the gesture in simple theory of the cutter pressed and moved on a monochrome surface.

Room 105 of the museum brings together a hundred Fontana works that recompose the complexity of his legacy. His training in his father's workshop, which was mainly dedicated to the cemetery pieces for the Italian immigrants of Rosario, led him to move in two planes at the same time, the creative and the commercial, «the high and the low culture , personal and commercial or custom, "said Candela.

He studied in Milan and in his first sculptures he set himself in the realist tradition and the neoclassicist avant-garde that Mussolini fostered, although it takes away solemnity. "Instead of noble materials, he uses the plaster – like Giacometti at about the same time – and the clay. His malleability allowed him to be more intuitive and expressive, and also make his first cuts, "said Cirauqui.

On his return to Argentina, at the beginning of the 1940s, he participated in the avant-garde movements of the Latin American country, which were reformulating the abstract language. He founded the Altamira Academy in Buenos Aires and wrote the 'White Manifesto', which he signed with his students.

In it he referred to the artistic experience as something that occurs in the totality of a space and not only through an object, a sculpture or a painting. With this approach he carried out the installations with which the sample ends. The last one appeared in the exhibition in Milan that Umberto Eco curated in 1964 with the motif of utopias.

(tagsToTranslate) lucio (t) fontana (t) sex (t) religion


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