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Lucio Fontana (19 February 1899 – 7 September 1968) was a painter
and sculptor born in Rosario, province of Santa Fe, Argentina, the son
of an Italian father and an Argentine mother. He was mostly known as
the founder of Spatialism.
Fontana spent the first years of his life in Italy and came back to
Argentina in 1905, where he stayed until 1922, working as a sculptor
along with his father and then on his own.
In 1928 he returned to Italy, and there he presented his first
exhibition in 1930, organized by the Milano art gallery Il Milione.
During the following decade he journeyed Italy and France, working
with abstract and expressionist painters.
In 1940 he returned to Argentina. In Buenos Aires (1946) he founded
the Altamira academy together with some of his students, and made
public the White Manifesto, where he states that "Matter, colour and
sound in motion are the phenomena whose simultaneous development makes
up the new art". Back in Milano in 1947, he supported, along with
writers and philosophers, the first manifesto of spatialism (Spazialismo).
He also resumed his ceramics works in Albisola.
From 1958 on he started the so-called slash series, consisting in
holes or slashes on the painting surface, drawing a sign of what he
named "an art for the Space Age". In 1959 he exhibited cut-off
paintings with multiple combinable elements (he named the sets
quanta). He participated in the Bienal de São Paulo and in numerous
exhibitions in Europe (including London and Paris) and Asia, as well
as New York.
Shortly before his death he was present at the "Destruction Art,
Destroy to Create" demonstration at the Finch College Museum of New
York. Then he left his home in Milano and went to Comabbio (in the
province of Varese, Italy), his family's mother town, where he died in