“Ambienti/Environments” is focused on Lucio Fontana’s pioneering work in the realm of installation art, with a selection of his seminal Ambienti spaziali—seen together for the first time—that highlights the farsighted, innovative genius of this twentieth-century master.
The Ambienti spaziali (“Spatial Environments”), rooms and corridors that the artist began to conceive and design in the late 1940s, were almost always destroyed once the exhibition was over; they are Fontana’s most experimental yet least-known works, due to their ephemeral nature.
Some of the environments on view have been reconstructed for the first time since the artist’s death through the research of art historian Marina Pugliese and art conservator Barbara Ferriani, co-curators of the show, with the collaboration of Fondazione Lucio Fontana.
Visitors have the opportunity to experience and enjoy this less familiar part of Fontana’s oeuvre for the first time, in an unprecedented presentation that reveals their historical importance while conveying their contemporary nature and innovative power.
Lucio Fontana (Rosario, Argentina, 1899, – Varese, Italy, 1968) was one of the most influential Italian artists of the mid-twentieth century. Fontana dedicated his entire career to investigating the concepts of space, light, the void and the cosmos. His work radically transformed our conception of painting, sculpture, and space by transcending the two-dimensionality of the canvas, and foreshadowed many movements of the 1960s and 1970s, like Arte Povera, Conceptualism, Land Art and Environmental art. As the founder of Spatialism, an artistic movement that emerged in Italy in the late ’40s, Fontana notably did away with the distinction between painting and sculpture, with his famous slashes and holes in the canvas.
The exhibition is curated by art historian Marina Pugliese, conservator Barbara Ferriani and Vicente Todolí, Artistic Director of Pirelli HangarBicocca, and is accompanied by a catalogue, published by Mousse Publishing, that presents the most up-to-date international research into Fontana’s Ambienti, with an extensive selection of essays and images.
Pirelli HangarBicocca’s “Lucio Fontana. Ambienti/Environments” exhibition wins 2018 Best Impressionist and Modern category at Global Fine Art Awards
Pirelli HangarBicocca has won the 2018 Global Fine Art Award in the Best Impressionist and Modern category for solo artist shows. The award is part of the Global Fine Art Awards program, set up to recognize the best curated art, culture and design exhibitions around the world in museums, galleries, fairs, and biennials, as well as public installations. It has been won by Pirelli HangarBicocca for the exhibition “Lucio Fontana. Ambienti/Environments”.
The award ceremony was held on Tuesday, 12 March at the Harold Pratt Mansion in New York: in this fifth edition of the Global Fine Art Awards, throughout the year, more than 2,000 exhibitions were researched and reviewed. In the 13 juried award categories, 94 exhibitions from 31 countries were ultimately selected by the nominating committee and judges as official nominees.
The 250,000 visitors registered during the opening period were able to see and enjoy Fontana’s lesser-known works for the first time, learning about their historical importance, while also appreciating their contemporary relevance, which was highlighted by a display installation that created a dialogue with the former industrial structure of Pirelli HangarBicocca.
The exhibition also proved to be of great value for researchers, curators, and art historians. For example, two Spatial Environments displayed in 2019 in the exhibition “Lucio Fontana: On The Threshold” at the Metropolitan in New York, in collaboration with Fondazione Lucio Fontana, were reconstructed internally, based on the Pirelli HangarBicocca reconstruction project for the exhibition in Milan. The works on show were: Spatial Environment in Red Light, 1967, at The Met Breuer, and Spatial Environment at Documenta 4, in Kassel, 1968, at El Museo del Barrio.