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"1931-1940"

His first technical and figurative experiments and his return to Argentina.

With Uomo nero (Black Man), Fontana began his work on the theme of human figures, deprived of their plasticity and shape, and reduced to geometrized profiles. He continued with this theme, fully developing it into a vast series of drawings and "tavolette graffite" (scratched panels), between 1931 and 1932, starting a productive period based on experimentation of a figurative and technical nature. In 1934 Fontana produced a series of abstract sculptures, or geometrized shapes in plaster supported by thin wire rods, displayed the following year at a controversial one-man show at the Milione gallery.

Considered to be a fundamental point in his creative development, these sculptures were close to the style of the Lombard abstract movement, the members of which were also linked to the Milione gallery, as well as the Paris-based group "Abstraction-Création". Continuing his research, between 1935 and 1939 he devoted his time and energy to making ceramic sculptures, working intensely at Albissola, on the Ligurian coast, in the workspace of his friend Giuseppe Mazzotti. In 1940 his formal experimentation continued with the creation of various sculptures in the round in coloured mosaics and with the inauguration of his first work of an environmental nature: the frieze Volo di Vittorie (Flight of Victories) on the ceiling of the Memorial to Fascist Martyrs in Piazza San Sepolcro, in Milan. However, in spring he set off by ship from Genoa to Argentina, also urged by his father to put all his energy into the new competition for the Monumento Nacional a la Bandera, to be erected at Rosario in Santa Fe province.

 

 

 

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