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Unseen Drawings by Lucio Fontana at the Pomodoro Foundation

  • 06

    May 2009
  • 26

    June 2009
Arnaldo Pomodoro Foundation, Milan  

The Arnaldo Pomodoro Foundation in Milan is presenting an exhibition of hitherto unseen drawings by Lucio Fontana from the University of Parma's CSAC (Study Centre and Communications Archive) collection, that show and document the artist's intense project activity. The exhibition will run from May 6 to June 26, 2009.


The show, curated by Gloria Bianchino, director of CSAC, presents a selection of 115 of the 313 works on paper by the Italian-Argentinian artist, donated to the city of Parma's university collections by his wife Teresita.
The drawings, except for some made in the 1930s, are all from a period of time running from the post-war years up until the 1960s. They represent an important, unique record of the artist's work in an area that up until now has received only minimal attention from art historians, namely his drawings.


The works explore a number of different themes, ranging from installation design (such as the plans for the 1966 Biennale developed in cooperation with Carlo Scarpa), to studies of architectural elements such as plaster ceilings, or the doors of Milan Cathedral. There are also nudes, and drawings for theatre, ceramics and sculpture.


Fontana was an artist for whom drawing was an independent art form, the expression of his remarkable capacity for artistic invention down on sheets (which were nearly always in the same format, almost always white paper on which he worked in pencil or ink thought thin and continuous lines).


Amongst the most striking aspects of Fontana's drawings is the artist's constant ability to change mode of expression, depending on whether he was working on his celebrated slashed canvases, or on artworks linked to the European Informale (abstract expressionism) style, or on the image of a sculpture.


Therefore, while the drawings can be given a precise chronological classification, it is not so easy to establish their exact relations with major works. This shows that there was an intermediate phase between the concept for a work and its actual creation, namely a phase of reflection and transformation, which did not necessarily culminate in a definitive work.


The book published for the exhibition (an edition by Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro/CSAC) contains all 313 works in the CSAC collection, and it represents the first step in the compilation of a complete catalogue of Fontana's drawings. This will be an ideal complement to the existing books dedicated to the artist's paintings and sculptures.



(picture: Lucio Fontana, Studi per figure e calesse)




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