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"1921-1930"

His years of training.

In 1921 Lucio Fontana returned to his birthplace, Rosario in Santa Fe province, Argentina, and decided to follow in the family's artistic tradition, dedicating himself entirely to sculpture. He started work in his father's workshop "Fontana y Scarabelli", which specialised in producing graveyard sculptures. After his success in a competition for a commemorative plaque to Louis Pasteur for the Faculty of Medicine at the Universidad Nacional del Litoral, he changed direction in 1924, devoting himself no longer to commercial artistic sculptures, but to researching new forms of sculpture. He set up on his own, opening his sculpture workshop in Rosario. Between 1925 and 1927 he won various public competitions, and received his first important commissions, such as the Monument to Juana Blanco in Calle San Salvador in Rosario. Towards the middle of 1927 he returned to Italy, coming back to Milan, where he enrolled in the first year of the sculpture course at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts (1927-1928). Here he began following the courses of Adolfo Wildt and the marble sculpture school: at the end of the year, he was promoted to the 4th year of the course, and at the end of 1929, he gained his diploma presenting his sculpture El auriga (The Charioteer, 1928) as his final piece of work.

In this period, the influence of Wildt was still strong, and can be noticed among the various graveyard sculptures he produced for the Monumental Cemetery in Milan (the Mapelli Chapel, 1928; the Berardi tomb, the Pasta tomb plaque and Locati tomb plaque, 1929). For Fontana, 1930 was a year full of significant events: he took part in the 27th Venice Biennial (where Wildt was commissioner), presenting his sculptures Eva (1928) and Vittoria fascista (Fascist Victory, 1929), and he held his first one-man exhibition at the Milione gallery, in Milan, prompted and organized by Edoardo Persico. It was here that the artist showed his Uomo nero (Black Man, 1930), an extremely breakaway work that Wildt did not approve of.

 

 

 

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