Lucio Fontana: Spatial Environment (1968)

On View January 23 – April 21, 2019

El Museo del Barrio is pleased to present artist Lucio Fontana’s 1968 Ambiente Spaziale [Spatial Environment]. First created in the late 1940s in relation to the artist’s innovative Spatialism movement, Fontana’s Ambienti Spaziali are labyrinthine, total environments that viewers enter and navigate. Reconstructed under the guidance of the Fondazione Lucio Fontana, the all-white Ambiente Spaziale (1968) at El Museo will follow the exact specifications of the artist’s final work in the series, originally conceived and presented at Documenta 4 in Kassel, Germany shortly before Fontana’s death.

The installation coincides with The Met Breur exhibition, Lucio Fontana: On the Threshold, curated by Metropolitan Museum Estrellita B. Brodsky Curator Iria Candela.


Argentine born Lucio Fontana (b. 1899 – d. 1968) is recognized for his explorations of energy and dimensionality, as reflected in his characteristic approach of punching holes and cutting tears into the surfaces of his paintings, sculptures, and installations. The child of Italian parents, Fontana was born in Rosario, Argentina, and moved back and forth between Italy and Argentina throughout his life. After beginning his career as a figurative sculptor in Rosario, the artist briefly studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera before returning to Argentina on the cusp of WWII. There, with Jorge Romero Brest and Jorge Larco, he founded the Altamira art school in Buenos Aires, and with his students published the 1946 Manifiesto Blanco. This document forms the incipient manifestation of Fontana’s theory of Spatialism, which he would continue to develop upon his definitive return to Italy in 1947. A well-recognized artistic figure within his lifetime, Fontana exhibited his work at the Venice Biennale and Documenta 4. His art is included in major collections throughout the globe.

EXHIBITION IMAGES (representative)

Images: Lucio Fontana, Ambiente spaziale in Documenta 4, a Kassel, 1968/2017, installation view at Pirelli, HangarBicocca, Milan, 2017. Courtesy Pirelli, HangarBicocca, Milan. ©Fondazione Lucio Fontana | Photo: Agostino Osio