Sorol Art Museum

Lucio Fontana: Spatial Concept
2024.2.14. - 4.14.

“Art is eternal, but it cannot be immortal. … It will remain eternal as gesture, but it will die as material. … We intend to separate art from matter, to free the sense of the eternal from concern with the immortal. And it is of no importance to us if a gesture, once carried out, lives for a moment or a millennium, for we are truly convinced that, having made it, it is eternal.”
– Lucio Fontana, Spatialists (1947) [First Spatial Manifesto]

The master of contemporary art from Italy, Lucio Fontana (1899-1968), proposed a new and multi-dimensional art form that overcame traditional art and actively embraced technological advancements when he announced the White Manifesto (Manifesto Blanco) in 1946. Starting with the declaration “We are continuing the evolution of art,” the manifesto encapsulates Fontana’s strong determination for a new art. In 1947, Fontana further solidified his artistic direction by presenting the Spatialists. First Spatial Manifesto (Spaziali. Primo manifesto spaziale), continuing the momentum from the White Manifesto

Sorol Art Museum’s inaugural exhibition, Lucio Fontana: Spatial Concept, focuses on Fontana’s Spatialist art that unfolded after the proclamation of the manifestos. The artist attempted to encapsulate form, color, and the sculptural aspects of sound in space, seeking to extend the artwork into the fourth dimension by incorporating the viewer’s movements. As a result, Spatial Environments (Ambienti Spaziale) series was created in 1949, expanding the concept of space using light. Fontana, aiming to overcome the limitations of the flatness inherent in traditional painting, advanced his Spatial Concept (Concetto spaziale) by creating holes in the canvas with the Holes (Buchi) series, and slashing the canvas with a cutter in the Slashes (Tagli) series, drawing the physical space of reality into the aesthetic realm of his works.

In this exhibition, six Spatial Environments are installed, for which the original settings of each artwork from the 1940s to the 1960s have been faithfully reproduced. Visitors are invited to enter Fontana’s expanded environments, transcending materiality and immersing themselves in light and space, becoming a part of the artwork. 

* This exhibition was curated by the Korean Research Institute of Contemporary Art (KoRICA) in collaboration with Fondazione Lucio Fontana. Sponsored by the Embassy of Italy in Seoul (Ambasciata d’Italia Seoul) and the Italian Cultural Institute in Seoul (Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Seoul)