(Rosario, Argentina 1899 – Comabbio, Italy 1968)
Fontana first experimented sculpture with his father, the sculptor Luigi, and in 1928 with A. Wildt at the Accademia di Brera. He then abandoned the figurative tradition, joining the artists of the Galleria del Milione (Lombard abstractionism), where he held his first solo exhibition in 1930. In the 1930s, he went to Paris and met Miró and Brancusi. In 1946 he elaborated his first spatial concepts (Concetti spaziali). Manifesto Bianco (1946) and the seven Manifesti dello Spazialismo (1947–1953) are the essays in which he upheld the need to abandon both realism and abstractionism. He encouraged the use of modern technical means (e.g., artificial light, radio, TV) to generate shapes, colors, and sounds through space. He soon put his ideas into practice: Ambienti, Ambiente Spaziale con forme spaziali e luce nera (1949) at the Galleria del Naviglio, the decorative neon tubes at the Milan Triennale in 1951, Costellazioni. With his renowned Tagli in 1958, he faced the problem of space through the cuts in the canvas. In the 1960s, he presented his last works: the cycles of Nature, La Fine di Dio, and Eclissi.