When Lucio Fontana was exhibited in Sweden in the 1960s and '70s, not many people were interested in his work; today his paintings are multimillion-dollar works. At the Modern Art & Design auction on November 24-25, Bukowskis has been entrusted to sell no less than six works by Fontana in various techniques, including a cosmic blue painting with three cuts, a gouache on paper in intense yellow and a glazed sculpture in ceramics.
— The painting "Concetto Spaziale" has not been on the market since the 70's. We expect that both Swedish and foreign customers are interested. Thanks to foreseeing galleries in Sweden during the 1950s, '60s and '70s, there is excellent international art in Sweden, which has made Stockholm a significant marketplace for international art, says Lena Rydén, Specialist Modern art at Bukowskis. Fontana's different creative phases and techniques are represented: the painting with cut (so-called tagli) is from the 60s, the yellow drawing with punched holes (so-called buchi) is from the 50s and the glazed sculpture is from the 40s. It is very unusual to be able to sell so many works by Fontana with this quality at one and the same time, Lena Rydén continues.
Concetto Spaziale, Attese is one of a series of works Fontana made in Milan between 1958 and 1968 that are collectively known as Tagli (‘cuts’). Together they constitute Fontana’s largest and most varied series of iconic works and have come to epitomise the artist’s expressive creativity.
Through his ‘Concetto Spaziale’ Fontana succeeded in erasing the border between painting and sculpture.
The first Tagli were executed in the late summer and autumn of 1958 when Fontana was almost 60 years old. The canvases were filled with small diagonal cuts in formations. Fontana experimented with both the size and the shape of the Tagli. As time passed the cuts became fewer but more forceful. In order to achieve the right effect the artist was particularly careful with the surface of the canvas, first ‘purifying’ it with a matt, often water-based, monochrome colour. The pieces with only one cut are marked Attesa whilst the canvases with multiple cuts are marked in the plural Attese, translated as ‘hopes’ or ‘aspirations’, a meaning that gives the pieces an additional conceptual dimension. Fontana dressed the back of the canvas with ‘telleta’, strips of black gauze, in order to create the illusion of space and void beyond the cut. In Tagli destruction and creation became one. Each cut in the canvas is executed in a single decisive and irrevocable movement. The physical act that forcefully ruptures the canvas simultaneously opens up a new sculptural and spatial perspective of the dark infinity beyond the surface of the canvas. Read more about the work of art >
Utropspris SEK 6 000 000 - 8 000 000
A significant aspect of what made him so compelling was his ability to merge sculpture and painting. His choice of forms remained varied throughout his career – from geometrical perfection to shapes that were more difficult to define. It wasn’t about the cuts or the holes in themselves, but about the process of getting there.
Fontana’s contribution to Spatialism, and the innovative forms he used, have inspired a new generation of artists to ‘think outside the box’. Lucio Fontana’s work was a product of its time, regardless of medium or technique.
“Art is eternal, but it cannot be immortal” (Lucio Fontana, The First Manifesto of Spatialism).
Estimate SEK 600 000 - 800 000
The painting in the auction is a ‘Concetto Spaziale’ from 1954. Bright yellow is contrasted with green and black spots set against a multitude of small holes (buchi). The piece highlights an important phase in Lucio Fontana’s artistic development.
Estimate SEK 600 000 - 800 000
Multiple, screenprint with punched holes, printed in orange, with silver foil, 1965/66, signed in the metal L. Fontana and numbered 30/50. 49.5 x 48 cm.
Estiamate SEK 30 000 - 40 000
Untitled, from: "Dix eaux-fortes. L'Épée dans l'eau" (Alain Jouffroy)
Etching with aquatint and punctures (as issued), on CM Fabriano paper, with full margins. Signed and numbered 56/75, 1962. Published by Galleria Schwarz, Milano. P: 15 x 11.5 cm, S: 25.5 x 20.5 cm.
Estimate SEK 15 000 - 18 000
"La lune en rodage I", Carl Laszlo, Editions Panderma, Basel 1960, numrerad 79 (total upplaga 150+65 HC).
The signed and dated work "Concetto Spaziale" by Lucio Fontana is taken from the portfolio and framed. The work is made with ink pen and perforations on silver-colored tinfoil, 12 x 9.5 cm. A certificate of authenticity from the Fondazione Lucio Fontana is included.
Also taken out from the portfolio and framed are works by Victor Vasarely, Fernandez Arman, Jean (Hans) Arp, Roberto Crippa.
The portfolio also includes works by Raymond Hains, Meret Oppenheim, Otto Piene, Heinz Mack, Hans Bischoffshausen, Piero Manzoni, Arnulf Rainer among others.
Estimate SEK 125 000
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