Styles & Periods

Styles & Periods


Spatialism was founded by Lucio Fontana in Italy in 1947. Described in his White Manifesto, Spatialism sought to define a kind of art that would be suitable for the modern age. In the manifesto he recommended a combination of artistic and scientific innovations and discredited the traditional illusory space of painting. Neon lights and television were some of the materials he suggested using to achieve a projection of light and color into the “real” space of the world. Some of Fontana's best-known works are his slashed canvases, in which the artist deliberately and literally broke through the picture plane. Fontana was able to discredit the traditional painting surface by mutilating it, forcing the viewer to engage with the painting in an unfamiliar way. By communicating with the audience in new ways, and breaking down some conventions of paint on canvas, Fontana created a movement that can be seen as a precursor Environment Art. Fontana's gestural and theatrical work was setting the criteria for a new concept of space that would be utilized by architects and sculptors. Using abstract means he defined the leap from the canvas to the realm of real life.

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