“Spatial Concept, Nature” (1959-1960) by Lucio Fontana is a significant work that belongs to a broader movement in art where the material and conceptual boundaries of art-making were being expanded. This particular artwork is a bronze sculpture located at The Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden SW Washington (DC), and is part of a larger series that includes many other sculptures, often with the same name.
Lucio Fontana (1899-1968) was an Italian artist and the founder of the Spatialism movement, which sought to transcend the two-dimensionality of the canvas, advocating for an art that would encompass the four dimensions of existence, including time and space.
The “Spatial Concept, Nature” series is part of Fontana’s broader exploration of the Spatialism concept, where he famously created slashes and holes on the surfaces of canvases, disrupting the traditional painting’s smooth surface and challenging the conventional boundaries between painting and sculpture. This particular series, however, takes his exploratory practice beyond the canvas to engage directly with the spatial environment.
In “Spatial Concept, Nature,” Fontana presents spherical or egg-shaped forms made from terracotta or bronze. These spheres, often with a smooth, polished surface, are punctured by a series of cuts or holes that pierce through the material, creating a dramatic tension between the object’s interior and exterior spaces. These works embody Fontana’s investigation into the concepts of the cosmos and the infinite, with the spherical shapes alluding to celestial bodies and the voids representing the boundless dimensions of the universe.