Lot 25. Lucio Fontana (1899-1968), Concetto spaziale, firmato l. fontana (in basso a destra); firma poco leggibile l. fontana (sul retro), olio su tela, cm 40x33. Eseguito nel 1961. Estimate EUR 300,000 - EUR 500,000 (USD 321,878 - USD 536,463) © Christie's Images Ltd 2017

Provenance: Galleria Permanente, Bergamo
Collezione privata, Milano 

Literature: E. Crispolti, Lucio Fontana. Catalogue raisonné des peintures, sculptures et environnements spatiaux rédigé par Enrico Crispolti, Bruxelles 1974, vol. II, p. 108-109, n. 61 O 19 (illustrato) 
E. Crispolti, Fontana. Catalogo generale, Milano 1986, vol. I, p. 365, n. 61 O19 (illustrato) 
E. Crispolti, Lucio Fontana. Catalogo ragionato di sculture, dipinti, ambientazioni, Milano 2006, vol. II, p. 549, n. 61 O 19 (illustrato)

NoteWith this formula I have succeeded in giving the spectator an impression of spatial calm, cosmic rigour, serenity and infinity’. Lucio Fontana

A visit to Venice in 1961 famously inspired Lucio Fontana to use spellbinding gold surfaces in his Concetti spaziali, in homage to the heavenly glory of the city’s gilded Baroque and Byzantine art and architecture. There also followed a series of textural oil works that sought to channel both the opulence of Venice’s façades and the mesmeric sparkle of its waters. Concetto spaziale (1961) is an exquisite example of this breakthrough series of olii (‘oils’), named for their thick, sculpted painterly surfaces, which includes the landmark Venezia paintings of the same year – perhaps the most celebrated cycle of his career. Movement and stillness reign in harmony.The work is dominated by an assured central slash whose edges are raised, rather than curving inward, and which is situated within a rippling pool of thick, blue paint that bears the traces of the artist’s hand. Like a Byzantine icon, this blue zone is surrounded by an aureate halo of gold canvas. Fontana’s gestures are preserved like insects in amber, or craters on the surface of a planet, while the gold frame and lagoon of blue are richly evocative of the Floating City. Time and space collapse as Fontana refashions art history for the Spatial age, bringing together heaven and earth in a jewel-like vision of luxurious tactility.

Christie's. Milan Modern and Contemporary, 27 - 28 April 2017, Milan