Pirelli HangarBicocca in Milan presents Ambienti/Environments, a groundbreaking exhibition that brings together for the first time nine of Lucio Fontana’s seminal Ambienti spaziali, displayed throughout the gallery’s 5,000-square-metre space. Fontana’s pioneering work in the realm of installation art highlights the farsighted, innovative genius of this 20th century master.
Visitors to a major exhibition which will be staged this autumn will be able to walk through several of Lucio Fontana’s celebrated “environments” featuring different forms and colours which unfold through rooms, corridors, glass walls and labyrinthine paths. The show, opening on September 20, 2017, has been developed in collaboration with Fondazione Lucio Fontana.
Despite the innovation of the artist’s environments, this area of Fontana’s work is not widely known. It is only in recent years that scholars have started extensive research into this aspect of his practice and the show at Pirelli HangarBicocca will be a unique opportunity to see nine environments reconstructed in full scale and presented together for the very first time.
The exhibition has been developed as the result of research into so far unknown historical documents such as personal letters, architectural plans, photographs, magazine reviews, films and interviews with art historians and Fontana’s collaborators. All the traced material has been reviewed and approved by the Fondazione Lucio Fontana.
Among the exhibited works, the show will include reconstructions of key environments conceived for museums, such as the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis in 1966 and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam in 1967, and never exhibited since then.
The exhibition is curated by art historian Marina Pugliese, Adjunct Professor at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco and former Director of a consortium of diverse museums in Milan (Museo del Novecento, Galleria D’Arte Moderna, Museo delle Culture), conservator Barbara Ferriani, lecturer at the Centro di Conservazione e Restauro “La Venaria Reale” and at the University of Milan, and Vicente Todolí, Artistic Director of Pirelli HangarBicocca and previously Director of Tate Modern in London from 2003–10.