ASPEN, CO.- The Aspen Art Museum
presents a rare exhibition of ceramic works by artist Lucio Fontana (Argentine-Italian, 1899-1968), on view from July 27 through October 7, 2012. Comprising over a dozen works from the early 1930s through the 60s, Lucio Fontana: Ceramics will be the first museum exhibition dedicated solely to this aspect of the artists groundbreaking work. Providing a unique opportunity to reexamine the artists entire career, the exhibition focuses on a selection of Fontanas works in clay, which, although vitally important to his working methods and pivotal in his trajectory as an artist, have never been accorded their deserved importance.
One of the 20th centurys most innovative artists, Lucio Fontana continually challenged the boundaries of art-making and the role of the artist, using a rich vocabulary of material, form, and action. Although best known for his Concetti Spaziale, the spatial environments and slashed canvases he created in the 1950s and 60s, Fontana produced a body of baroque ceramic work beginning in the 1930s in which he engaged both painting and sculpture in innovative and productive new ways. The beauty of chance and accident, evident from the start in Fontanas use of ceramics, becomes a strong current in much of the artists later work, with some of his first Concetti Spaziale realized in clay before canvas. With subject matter as varied as battle scenes and flowers, these expressive works gain a raw immediacy from Fontanas vigorous hand modelingthe clay becoming a register of the artists process. This direct, forceful manipulation of the purity of the surface also prefigures the violence of the Concetti Spaziale.