Lucio Fontana's slashes at Gagosian Gallery are the Daily Pic by Blake Gopnik

“Concetto spaziale, Attese” (left) © Fondazione Lucio Fontana, Milan, courtesy the Fondazione Lucio Fontana, Milan and Gagosian Gallery.

Lucio Fontana’s trademark gesture of slicing through his canvas seems just that – a gesture, and one that ought not to depend on particulars. But the Gagosian survey I’ve been Daily Pic-ing all week makes clear how much Fontana’s slashes do vary with the specifics. The 1960 pink canvas shown here, called “Concetto spaziale, Attese,” seems too fancy-dress for its slashing to be taken seriously. The piece feels insincere. Whereas “Concetto spaziale, Atteste,” the 1966 one that was painted crimson – color of strife and energy and not-quite-blood – seems to have always been waiting for Fontana’s knife.

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