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Exhibitions/ Lucio Fontana: On the Threshold

Lucio Fontana: On the Threshold

At The Met Fifth Avenue
January 23–April 14, 2019

Exhibition Catalogue

This beautifully illustrated book takes a fresh look at Fontana's innovations in painting, drawing, ceramics, sculpture, and installation art.

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Exhibition Overview

The first major survey of Lucio Fontana (1899–1968) in the United States in more than forty years, this exhibition reexamines the career of one of the most innovative artists of the twentieth century. The Argentine-Italian artist is widely known for his Cuts series, slashed paintings that became symbols of the postwar era. The exhibition presents extraordinary examples of this iconic body of work. It also explores Fontana's beginnings as a sculptor, including his exquisite work in ceramic, as well as his pioneering environments, contextualizing the radical gesture of his Cuts as part of the artist's broader search to integrate the space of art and the space of the viewer.

Accompanied by a catalogue.

Three of Fontana's environments have been reconstructed for this exhibition: two are currently on view at The Met Breuer on Floor 3 and Floor 5, and a third opens at The Met Fifth Avenue on January 28 in gallery 913.

To coincide with the exhibition at The Met Breuer, El Museo del Barrio is presenting Fontana's last environment, Spatial Environment at Documenta 4, in Kassel (1968).

Following its presentation at The Met Breuer, the exhibition will travel to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao from May 17 through September 29, 2019.

Featured Media


"He made abstraction look dangerous." —New York Times

"In our current climate of huge retrospectives . . . On the Threshold is a necessary—and for those who look closely, rewarding—addendum." —Wall Street Journal

"But go. See for yourself. Register the full range of Fontana's output." —Washington Post

". . . unexpectedly contemporary . . ." —Observer

The exhibition is made possible by The International Council of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Additional support is provided by the Jane and Robert Carroll Fund, the Aaron I. Fleischman and Lin Lougheed Fund, and The Modern Circle.

It is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art in collaboration with Fondazione Lucio Fontana.

The catalogue is made possible by the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, Inc.

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in

Exhibition Objects


Lucio Fontana at The Met Breuer

Wednesday, February 13, 6:30 pm
Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò
24 West 12th Street, New York, NY, 10011

A panel to discuss today's relevance of Lucio Fontana (1899–1968), on the occasion of the retrospective exhibition at The Met Breuer. An exhibition dedicated to Fontana and avant-guarde artists in 1950s and '60s Milan is also on view at the Italian Cultural Institute.

RSVP Required

Lucio Fontana in Buenos Aires circa 1946

Tuesday, April 9, 6:30 pm
The Institute of Fine Arts, NYU
1 E 78th Street, New York, NY, 10075

A panel discussion with María Amalia García, Researcher, CONICET at TAREA-Instituto de Investigaciones sobre Patrimonio Cultural, Universidad de San Martín, Teaches at Universidad de Buenos Aires; and Andrea Giunta, Professor at the Universidad de Buenos Aires and Principal Researcher at CONICET; and Iria Candela, Estrellita B. Brodsky Curator of Latin American Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Moderated by Edward J. Sullivan, Helen Gould Sheppard Professor of the History of Art at New York University.

RSVP Required

Organized by The Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, Institute for Studies on Latin American Art, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Teaser image: Lucio Fontana (Argentine-Italian, 1899–1968). Spatial Concept, Expectations, 1959. Oil on canvas, 35 3/4 x 35 3/4 in. (90.8 x 90.8 cm). Olnick Spanu Collection, New York © 2019 Fondazione Lucio Fontana/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/SIAE, Rome. Photo © Marco Anelli