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Lucio Fontana : Biography

   Lucio Fontana was born on February 19, 1899 in Rosario de Santa Fe Argentina with an Italian father and an Argentine mother.  He was a painter and a sculptor who grew up in Italy and returned to Argentina in 1905.  By 1910 he began his apprenticeship in his father’s workshop and enrolled himself in a school for Masters Builders.  He left that school when he enlisted as a volunteer in WWI and was discharged with a silver medal for bravery.  In 1921, he returned to Argentina and returned working for his father.  He returned to Italy in 1928 and his first exhibition opened in 1931 in the Galleria del Milione.
   He traveled throughout Italy and France working with abstract and expressionist painters. In the 1930s Fontana cemented his belief in “anti-form” and became an anarchist.  In the resulting gloom of WWI, Fontana looked to his own political beliefs for some positive light.  He returned to his essential self, which ultimately became what he was famous for- his “slash series.” It is clear Fontana discovered his own individuality by delving in the figurative and abstract worlds.   In 1940 he returned to Argentina and in Buenos Aires in 1946 he founded the Altamira academy.  He launched his “White Manifest” in which he tried to establish modernism without a domain.  In Milano in 1947 he founded the Spatial Movement and published with other artists and intellectuals the “First Manifesto of Spatialism.” He is well-known because he blurred the lines between painting and sculpture by creating works that combined both form and color in a spatial context.  In 1958 he started the “slash series” in which he slashed holes and tears on a painting surface. 
   He went to see the “Destruction Art, Destroy to Create” demonstration at the Finch College Museum of New York and then died shortly thereafter, in 1968 after he had returned to Italy.




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