23 November 2017 – 8.30pm
FONTANA, THE YOUNG ARTISTS, THE ENVIRONMENTS
With Silvia Bignami e Giorgio Zanchetti
Second event of the Public Program | Lucio Fontana
Silvia Bignami and Giorgio Zanchetti use images, documents, and texts to describe Lucio Fontana’s fundamental role as a supporter and mentor for younger generations of artists. In the second half of the 1940s, Fontana spearheaded the Spatialist movement, a touchstone for early representatives of Arte Nucleare and many of the currents—in Milan and elsewhere—that looked “beyond” Informel. In his catalogue introduction for Fontana’s solo room at the Venice Biennale in 1958, Guido Ballo wrote, “To a greater degree than others, Fontana has sensed and tasted the ferment of a new culture: he is close to the young artists of today, having already freely traveled certain trails before them.” Not coincidentally, Ballo’s essay was republished the following year in the first issue of the magazine Azimuth, a rallying point of the new Milanese avant-garde. Fontana’s work provided important inspiration for the experiments of young artists like Castellani, Manzoni, Bonalumi, the members of Gruppo T and Gruppo Enne, Dadamaino, Scheggi, and Nanda Vigo, but also Fabro and Paolini. One major aspect of this influence was his groundbreaking work with “environments”. In 1967, he was honored as the forerunner and pioneer of installation art in the exhibition “Lo spazio dell’immagine” (Foligno): alongside an Ambiente spaziale by Fontana, it presented nineteen works by a younger Italian artists, including figures from the kinetic art, Pop, and Arte Povera movements, who explored the environmental side of art.
Silvia Bignami teaches Contemporary Art History at the University of Milan. Since 2003, she has been on the advisory board of the review “L’uomo nero.” She has curated many exhibitions, including “Mario Sironi. La Venere dei Porti” (Museo della Permanente, Milan, 2000); “Fuori. Arte e spazio urbano. 1968-1976” (Museo del Novecento, Milan, 2011); “Yves Klein Lucio Fontana. Milano Parigi. 1957-1962” (Museo del Novecento, Milan, 2014).
Giorgio Zanchetti teaches Contemporary Art History and heads the specialization degree program in Art History and Criticism at the University of Milan. His research is focused on nineteenth and twentieth-century Italian sculpture, as well as the overlapping languages of the avant-gardes and neo-avant-gardes. He is on the advisory boards of the review “L’uomo nero” and of the Archivio di Nuova Scrittura (Rovereto, Mart – Bolzano, Museion). He has curated exhibitions such as “Fontana e la luce” (Triennale, Milan, 1999); “Text-image” (Musée des Beaux-Arts, La Chaux-de-Fonds, 1999-2000); “Frammenti. La nostalgia dell’unità perduta nella scultura del XIX e XX secolo” (Museo della Permanente, Milan, 2001); “Yves Klein Lucio Fontana. Milano Parigi. 1957-1962” (Museo del Novecento, Milan, 2014-2015).