Lucio Fontana and the Duomo of Milan

Lucio Fontana and the Duomo of Milan
#Exhibitions

We all know him for his famed cuts, wounds sliced into the skin of his paintings to betray their nature. But the provocative Lucio Fontana had many stories to tell. For example, his relationship with the sacred, unjustly underestimated, which brought him as far as the Veneranda Fabbrica of Milan’s Duomo - the entity historically in charge of everything concerning the building’s construction, embellishment and maintenance. It was during the years following the Second World War and not even Italy’s gothic icon had escaped the devastation of the bombardments. The bronze Fifth Door had to be redone and their was a competition for the job which was won by Fontana ex-aequo with his colleague Luciano Minguzzi. The commission involved defined the project as “arte novissima” - art so modern that it had, in the end, no place as part of the facade of the monument. Yet, there are still remnants of the work in admirable plaster mock-ups. One of these, just restored, is on public display for the first time in the exhibition that the Museo del Duomo dedicates to the Italian-Argentinian artist to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of his death: an itinerary divided into three sections that looks at the intense and complex relationship between Fontana and the building/symbol of Milan, starting with the statue of San Protaso (1935) and moving up to the Fifties with those stunning works in plaster and bronze. From 3 November, visitors to the Duomo can also admire, on the Altar of Sant’Agata, the Pala dell’Assunta, created in bronze in 1972 on the basis of a design by Fontana - Fontana had imagined the piece in Candoglia marble for its light-catching ability, but the monumental dynamism and its innovative potency remain unvaried from the original design.

Francesca Grego - © 2018 ARTE.it for Bulgari Hotel Milano