Neon lights pulse overhead in a new exhibition of Lucio Fontana’s seminal Environments – brought together for the first time in Milan’s Pirelli HangarBicocca.
The gallery’s 15,000 sq m site has been given over to the largest ever exhibition of Fontana’s pioneering Ambienti spaziali artworks, most of which have never been seen together before.
Visitors can walk through nine environments and two interventions designed by the Italian artist between 1949 and 1968 using neon tubes, ultra-violet lights, and optical tricks. These pioneering spatial works have been staged inside the gallery’s Navate space, taking over rooms and labyrinthine corridors across the building.
Many of them – originally created for international museums – have been reconstructed for the first time since Fontana’s death in 1968, and are presented in chronological order across the sprawling site.
Greeting visitors is ‘Neon Structure for the 9th Milan Triennale’, comprising 100-metre-long neon tubes which hang at the entrance to the gallery.
Other pieces include UV-lit darkroom ‘Spatial Environment in Black Light’ and the mind-boggling ‘Ambiente spaziale’, conceived in 1966 for the Walker Art Centre in Minneapolis and reconstructed for the first time, with slanted floors and perforated, neon-lit walls.
Lucio Fontana Ambienti/Environments runs until 25 February 2018 at Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan.