Two major artists of the 20th century
Milan’s Museo del Novecento is hosting an important exhibition by two of the past century’s most interesting European artists – Yves Klein and Lucio Fontana – to celebrate their all too short years of friendship and collaboration.
Their paintings and scuptures testify to the interlacing of their careers which started in 1957, when Klein held his first personal show at Milan’s Galleria Apollinaire and Fontana was one of the first to acquire one of his monochrome paintings. They met and exercised a mutual influence over the next five years, until the death of Klein. A significant element of their relationship can be seen in Klein’s contacts with Fontana’s galleries and circle of friends. These led to their collaboration in the 1960 Triennale, as well as numerous visits by Klein in Italy and by Fontana in Paris.
Klein, born in Nice in 1928, was to become a leading member of the Nouveau réalisme school. His artworks sold for as much as $36 million. Fontana was born to Italian parents in Argentina in 1899. He studied in Milan’s Accademia di Brera from 1928 to 1930, and held his first exhibition there in 1931. He later became arguably best known as the founder of the Spacialism movement. His Concetto spaziale, la fine di dio (1963) sold for over £10 million in London.