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Spatial Concept: Expectation

By slashing the center of his canvases, Fontana allowed three–dimensional space to intrude into an otherwise two–dimensional surface. Fontana first introduced perforations within his works in 1949 and referred to these as “spatial concepts.” He then began slashing his canvases in the early 1950s and added the term “Expectations” to the title. While these works immediately conjure acts of violence and iconoclasm, Fontana claimed “I have constructed, not destroyed.”

“Sculpture and painting are both things of the past,” argued Fontana. “We need a new form. Art that’s movement. Art within space.” While living in Buenos Aires between 1940 and 1947, Fontana consorted with many Argentine Concrete art...

Slashed canvas and gauze
100.3 x 80.3cm
Image © 2019 Fondation Lucio Fontana
Text © MoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York

Where you'll find this

The Museum of Modern Art
Permanent collection