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Lucio Fontana


September 5 - November 7, 2020
Opening, Saturday, September 5
2 pm to 7 pm
Galerie Karsten Greve is delighted to present a solo exhibition on the ceramic works of Lucio Fontana in Paris. Karsten Greve, who has represented and presented the Argentine-Italian avant-garde artist since 1977, significantly promoted his international recognition. Ceramics will be the twelfth solo exhibition featuring Lucio Fontana’s ceramic works.
On display are twenty-eight ceramic works, dating from 1936 to 1961. In approaching ceramics, Lucio Fontana’s initial statement was “Io sono uno scultore e non un ceramista” (“I am a sculptor, not a ceramicist”). In his theoretical writings, he frequently returns to his position regarding ceramics, defining himself, above all, as a sculptor. His studies to explore new forms are precisely aimed at achieving a manner of expression independent of any use of form. Lucio Fontana created figurative objects depicting religious subjects, such as crucifixions, depositions from the Cross, and the Madonna with child, further he created battle scenes, and even figures from the Commedia dell’arte. The so-called “Animalia” include ceramics in exuberant shapes inspired by marine life, flora and fauna. Shiny glazes cover these objects like a sugary crust, thus establishing a unique phenomenological dialectic between apparent softness and actual brittleness while lending the sculptures an aspect of overall, compound fragility that contrasts dramatically with the aura of immemorial permanence. Midway between Lucio Fontana’s traditional ceramics and his ambiguously modernist so-called Concetti spaziali is a pair of pod-like Concetti spaziali, Natura (1959), in which he formed large ovoid lumps of clay and arranged them in slightly ominous clusters. Although best known for his punctured paintings, spatial environments, and slashed canvases, created in the 1950s and 1960s, clay modeling and ceramics have always been central to Lucio Fontana’s artistic process.

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