n°118/ Lucio Fontana vs Yves Klein

April 2014


Is it because France holds Yves Klein for the monopolistic monochrome painter that Lucio Fontana's work has been offered such a late retrospective in Paris? Born in Argentina of Italian parents, Lucio Fontana spent most of his life in Italy. From 1949, he started the so-called Spatial Concept or slash series, consisting in holes or slashes on the surface of monochrome paintings, drawing a sign of what he named "an art for the Space Age". Absolutely mesmerizing.

Even though Fontana started first, their artistic careers were quite contemporary and probably challenging during the 60s. Did they meet? Yes, in 1957. Were they friends? Obviously not. Did they value each other's work? Fontana bought one of Klein's monochromes in January 1957. His Klein blue-like Spatial Concept was painted in 1966-68. Klein died in 1962.

Don't jump to comparisons...


 Lucio Fontana


 Yves Klein