Ambiente spaziale a luce rossa 1967.2017
It is possible that it is the most experimental and less known projects of Lucio Fontana. She worked with her friend the monochrome but changed the knife to one side, to work the cut with a structure. He continued to investigate the treatment of space and light, this time not on the canvas. We surpass the material, it is on the corridors, on the spaces.
In 2017, under the curatorship of Marina Pugliese, Barbara Ferriani and Vicente Todolí, HangarBicocca, the Milanese center run by the latter, exhibited a recreation of nine Ambienti spaziali. Two environmental interventions that Fontana carried out between 1949 and 1968 in several exhibition centers.
Most of these projects were destroyed at the end of the samples of which they were part. For this reason few associate Fontana these truly innovative interventions for their time. Among those who recovered HangarBicocca, some were reconstructed for the first time since the death of the artist in 1968.
The space between spaces, the cut with shadows and materials, allows us to enter a space that reflects on its essence to transmit to those who inhabit or transit it.
In the years he worked on these interventions, Fontana had reached a conclusion. He had to overcome his transgressions on canvas. Go beyond the means and possibilities offered by painting and sculpture when exploring the potential of spatialism to break the conventions of our perception.
In 1949, mature in his work, he presented at the Milanese gallery Naviglio Spatial environment with black light. His first attempt to introduce the viewer into dimensions other than those of the painting. He sought to conquer a freedom then revolutionary. His goal was the defense that art could take place in any form. Any means and practically anywhere is possible.
It was a room painted entirely black. It was illuminated, and in which floated, in the high part, organic forms of fluorescent colors similar to amoebas. These shapes affected the void of the room. An emptiness that made it possible for the spectator to create his own time there, will be placed in invented coordinates and develop, with an unused free will, the capacities of his senses and his intuition.
That space environment with black light did not achieve much interest or good reviews. As it happens on many occasions, it would have an impact, like the subsequent spatial environments of Fontana. This was seen in “environment” by Oldenburg or Jim Dine. Despite the lack of support, the artist of Argentine origin continued that line of work with profitable results, taking the ambienti all over the world.
Two years later, at the Staircase of Honor of the IX Milan Triennial. He presented another space consisting of an arabesque of neon lights, and the series continued until its powerful final snap: in the Documenta IV of Kassel, in 1968. This time it was an absolutely white and very bright labyrinth (also recovered in Milan) . In it the cut cut again, the “slit” on a white support. In a way, these environments are the culmination of the journey to other worlds, a mystical or sidereal point, which sought to lead us with its holes: by placing ourselves in front of nothing, we can fill the void with our peace or our anguish.
That is to say, it is to live the art and the evolution of the materials to enter into it.
He already said it in 1947, in his First Manifesto of Spacialism: “Art may live a year or millennia, but the time will always come for its material destruction”. The gesture is eternal, the matter is not.