The Museum of the 20th Century in Milan is hosting until next March 15th, the exhibition “Yves Klein Lucio Fontana. Milan Paris 1957-1962” – an opportunity to rediscover two great talents, who with their creative journeys, deeply molded the art of the decades to come.
Klein and Fontana laid the foundations of what is now known as “minimalism” – art which embodies all disciplines, from painting to music and seeks to unlock artists and spectators from conventional limits of perception and physical constraints of gravity.
Here then is the renowned photo montage which shows Yves Klein taking flight from a Parisian window; and it is not by chance that among the materials recovered in his archives, along with letters and rare photographs bearing witness of his deep friendship with Fontana, sticking out was the score of the famous song “Volare” (to fly) by Domenico Modugno.
Or, the architectural visionary designs of the two artists for Milan and Paris, inspired by contact with elements of nature and synesthesia (the psychological phenomenon which stimulates mental correlates, for example, between a color and a perfume or a sound with a visual experience).
The exhibition also includes the creations which brought fame to the two artists: Klein’s monochromatic blue paintings, designed to create a state of trance in the observer, and the cuts in the canvases made by Fontana, through which the artist revealed what is hidden behind the “curtain,” seemingly insurmountable in two-dimensional canvas.
In this way, space no longer has boundaries, ceilings, windows and floors. Appearing light and interchangeable, the works and artists converse with the utmost freedom. To enhance the scale of this vision, the curators of the exhibit have chosen to display the pieces of the two artists along the entire space of the Museum, rather than in a single area.
Magic unfolds with deliberate slowness and reveals in its glory and lightness even to the last floor of the Museum where Fontana’s dazzling “Neon Structure” (positioned on the ceiling and visible from Piazza Duomo) encounters the “pigment pur” installation, layer of Giotto blue pigment created by Klein to show the observer how a work of art may be explored in entirely new ways, like stretching out on a floor that takes on the form and color of the sky.