Lucio FontanaAmbiente Spaziale con Tagli, 1960
Ambiente Spaziale con tagli (1960) is the first known example of Lucio Fontana's translation of his iconic 'slashed canvases' into architectural form. Fontana's first ambiente spaziale or 'spatial environment' was created in 1949 and over the course of the next decade these investigations included large-scale friezes, monumental graphic structures in neon and rhythmic patterns of holes. This infamous and transformative series continued until his death in 1968 and paved the way for a qualitative advance of 'spatial' character in the sphere of his further involvement in architectural-environmental works and is representative of his lifelong appetite for experimentation.
"I do not want to make a painting; I want to open up space, create a new dimension, tie in the cosmos, as it endlessly expands beyond the confining plane of the picture."
- Lucio Fontana
In 1959, Osvoldo Borsani was comimssioned to design the interior decoration for the well-known property developer Antonio Melandri's apartment on the sixth floor at Corso di Porta Vittoria 7, Milan and Fontana was involved from the very outset. Fontana used a drawing of the ceiling made by the engineer to make three sketches, developing his ideas for the entire living area of the apartment. In the plans for the ceiling Fontana initially experimented with a combination of buchi (holes) and tagli (cuts), eventually leading to the creation of a 'spatial environment' featuring Fontana's new vocabulary for environmental works - a double sequence of six long and short cuts, laid out perpindicular to the living room window.
The Introduction of Environmental 'Cuts'
Ambiente spaziale con tagli (1960) is the first known example of Lucio Fontana's translation of his iconic 'slashed canvases' into architectural form, and represents a watershed moment in his oeuvre. Recently rediscovered and skillfully detached to preserve it from teh risk of destruction during renovation, Ambiente spaziale con tagli paved the way for a qualatative advance of 'spatial' character in his architectural-environmental works and correlates to the time when his series of tagli (cut) paintings, initiated in 1958, was gaining international recognition. This work inaugurated a series of 'spatial' environmental works, developed resolutely in white to enhance the prominence of the cut, which continued until Fontana's death in 1968.
"With the slash I invented a formula that I don't think I can perfect. I managed with this formula to give the spectator an impression of spatial calm, of cosmic rigour, of serenity in infinity."
- Lucio Fontana
Lucio Fontana (1899 - 1968)
Ambiente Spaziale con tagli, 1960
Plaster, six cuts on white ground
400 x 814.3 cm (157 x 321 in.)
Antonio Melandri, Milan
Commissioned directly from the artist
This work has been authenticated by the Archivio della Fondazione Lucio Fontana, Milan under the record number 2866/14