The Daily Pic

05.29.12

Drawing With Light, Before Others Did

The Daily Pic: Lucio Fontana pioneered neon art.

Forget the specifics of how Lucio Fontana executed his signature gesture of slicing through his art’s surfaces. Sometimes, he didn’t—as in this reconstructed neon piece that fills the rafters above the Gagosian Fontana survey, which is the subject of this whole week’s Daily Pics. Fontana conceived the piece in 1951, about a decade before Dan Flavin and others started to see the potential in light as a medium. And it is as successful as anything that came after: the translation of drawing into space is an analogue, of sorts, to Fontana pulling painting into depth with his knife.

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