Dates: 1947-1960

Origin: Italy

Key Artists: Lucio Fontana, Roberto Crippa

Italian art movement founded by Lucio Fontana c. 1947 in Milan. The theory of Spazialismo was anticipated in the Manifiesto blanco (Buenos Aires, 1946), which was produced by Fontana and colleagues during his time in Argentina during World War II. Subsequently six manifestoes were produced (1947–52), including a Manifesto tecnico dello spazialismo (Milan, 1951). Fontana and his associates felt that the time had come to move away from the flat surface and illusory space of the canvas and towards an art that was a synthesis of colour, sound, movement, time and space: an art, moreover, that took account of new techniques made possible by scientific progress (e.g. television, neon lighting). In keeping with this regard for scientific discovery was Fontana’s proposal that matter should be transformed into energy and invade space in dynamic form. This view resulted in various temporary constructions (e.g. Spatial Environment, Milan, Gal. Naviglio, 1949), which anticipated such developments as environmental and performance art. Fontana’s attempts to get away from the flat surface of canvas led to paintings in which the canvas was pierced by holes or slashes, sometimes made more three-dimensional by the application of objects or materials, such as coloured glass, as in his Spatial Concept of 1955.

“Spazialismo.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. 12 Mar. 2010 <;

Lucio Fontana

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