Hauser & Wirth has announced that it will be putting on a three-show series with the Fondazione Lucio Fontana, the Milan-based foundation for the postwar artist who pioneered Spatialism and whose work largely dealt with the perceptual effects of painting.
Fontana’s work has long been studied in surveys ranging from institutiones and museums around the world, most recently at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, and the Hangar Pirelli Bicocca in Milan. Despite the artist’s wide range of production and credit, he remains mainly known for his slashed monochromatic painted canvases, better known as the Concetto spaziale works. They have been extremely sought after by collectors around the world, with a bright yellow 1964 egg work, titled Concetto Spaziale, La Fine di Dio, going for a record $29.2 million at Christie’s in 2015. With three exhibitions announced, Hauser & Wirth is aiming to exhibit a larger picture of the artist’s oeuvre.
“We really see him as the quintessential artist in the history of postwar European art, and internationally, he’s not where we think he should be, especially not for certain aspects of his work,” Marc Payot, vice president at Hauser & Wirth, told ARTnews. “Today, the art world is very global. We feel that we can be pushing even more, in terms of his growth and legacy.”
The first Fontana exhibition Hauser & Wirth announced is due to open in Los Angeles in February and it is set to focus on the artist’s large-scale neon installations, better known as his “Ambienti,” works. Next up will be an exhibition at the gallery’s New York location in 2021 that will show Fontana’s sculpture and ceramic works, followed by a final survey in Hong Kong, a city whose art community “has not seen that much of Fontana,” Payot said. All three exhibitions will be curated by Luca Massimo Barbero, the director of the Institute of Art History at the Giorgio Cini Foundation in Venice, and the editor of a catalogue raisonné that is focused on Fontana’s ceramics. The gallery’s publishing arm will also be collaborating with the foundation to release books about Fontana.
Payot clarified that the gallery does not represent the Fontana foundation, and that this is part of a collaborative effort. “This way of collaborating is very much in synch with how we think,” he said. “It doesn’t bother us at all. It’s really taking an important position within the development of Fontana’s legacy.”