A change of essence and form is required.
Also required is the overcoming of painting, sculpture, poetry and music.
A kind of art that is in line with the needs of the new spirit is necessary.
MANIFIESTO BLANCO, 1946
This year, the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Lucio Fontana (1899-1968), Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano pays homage to the great Italian-Argentinian artist with an exhibition focusing on his work for the Cattedrale Ambrosiana.
The exhibition, taking place inside the newly renovated Sala Gian Galeazzo of the Museo del Duomo and under the auspices of the Archdiocese of Milan, the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities, the Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, along with the Region of Lombardy and the Municipality of Milan, within the municipal program of “Novecento Italiano”, will be inaugurated on 26 October and opened to members of the public from 27 October to 27 January 2019.
THE SKETCH OF THE DUOMO’S FIFTH DOOR, NEVER REVEALED BEFORE TO THE PUBLIC
The event will be the ideal opportunity to present the public with the restoration of the last plaster sketch of the Duomo’s Fifth Door, created by Fontana between 1955 and 1956. It has never been exposed to the public due to it standing near the Cantiere Marmisti della Fabbrica. It is the last of Fontana’s works for the V Door of the Cathedral. A contest for which he created exhibits that are defined as “Arte Novissima” by the Fabbrica: a sacred art that is so modern it did not ultimately make it on the front of the Duomo. As we know, the door was in fact assigned to Luciano Minguzzi, joint winner, along with Fontana, of the competition announced by the Fabbrica to host the exhibit in 1950.
The sketch is in addition to the other Fontanian gesso which is currently included in the collection of Veneranda Fabbrica, the Knight (il Cavaliere), created between 1951 and 1952. The other plaster works, from which a series of bronze fusions exhibited in the Museo del Duomo were drawn from, were granted by the Fabbrica to the Milanese Diocesano Museum (Museo Diocesano), where they are displayed to this day. The model’s poorly conserved state has lead to a delicate and vital renovation. The renovation works, approved by the Supervision of Archeology, Fine Arts and Landscape of Milan (Soprintendenza Archeologia, Belle Arti e Paesaggio di Milano), will be completed on display, thanks in part to the support of Borsa Italiana.
THREE SECTIONS TO DISCOVER THE SACRED FONTANA
The exhibition which is launched under the management of the Scientific Committee of Milan’s Duomo Museum headed by Mons. Gianantonio Borgonovo, is curated by Michele Aversa, Giulia Benati and Massimo Negri under the coordination of Elisa Mantia. It is organised into three sections and will retrace Fontana’s creative adventure in the Duomo, started in 1935 through the commissioning of a statue for the inside of the Cathedral (San Protaso, 1940) and continued with the 1950 competition. In addition to the design of the V Door, the exhibit includes the above-mentioned Knight gesso and a series of bronze fusions of Fontana’s designs for the Duomo. Among the other pieces displayed, which encompass designs and sculptures of artists involved in the process of the V Door, such as Aurelio Mistruzzi, Francesco Messina and Enrico Manfrini, are some preparatory drawings borrowed from the Fondazione Lucio Fontana. Other Milanese organisations that granted artworks on loan include Milan’s 19th Century Museum (Museo del Novecento di Milano), the Gallery of Sacred Contemporary Art (Galleria d’Arte Sacra dei Contemporanei) and the Triennale’s Photographic Archive (Archivio Fotografico della Triennale). Furthermore, the exhibit comprises photographic reproductions of shots from Archivio Giancolombo and Archivio Ugo Mulas.
The exhibition’s set-up was planned and carried out by the Politecnico di Milano in collaboration with Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo.
Alongside the collaboration with Politecnico, the contribution on behalf of Libera Università di Lingue e Comunicazione IULM was crucial in implementing multimedia products and, in particular, two documentaries dedicated entirely to Sacred Fontana and his adventure in the Duomo.
Another two events are planned concurrently with the exhibition: a Day of Study Covering the Sacred Art of Fontana, scheduled for 15 January 2019, and the installation of the 1972 bronze Assunta in the Duomo.
THE TABLET OF ASSUNTA IN THE DUOMO, FROM 3 NOVEMBER
In fact, on 3 November 2018 in the Cathedral, the tablet of Fontana’s Assunta will be unveiled, following the end of the Pontifical Mass of Saint Carlo (Borromeo Pontificale nella solennità di San Carlo Borromeo) which is scheduled for 17.30. It will be placed on the altar of Sant’Agata for the entire duration of its display in the museum. The piece is the bronze version of an altar tablet which Veneranda Fabbrica decided to establish in 1972, based on the artist’s plaster model requested by the Institution in 1955. Fontana was due to transpose the Candoglia marble design but the project remained incomplete.
Access to the exhibition does not require additional charges to the entry ticket for the Museo del Duomo which is currently set at €3.00.
LUCIO FONTANA’S WORK FOR DUOMO DI MILANO 1936-1956
SALA GIAN GALEAZZO
MILAN’S DUOMO MUSEUM (MUSEO DEL DUOMO DI MILANO)
(PIAZZA DEL DUOMO, 12)
27 OCTOBER 2018 - 27 JANUARY 2019
Under the direction of the Scientific Committee of Milan’s Duomo Museum
Mons. Gianantonio Borgonovo - Elisa Mantia - Gianfranco Maraniello - Mario Negri - Massimo Negri - Roberto Ruozi
Exhibition curated by
Michele Aversa - Giulia Benati - Massimo Negri
Project planning and construction
Politecnico di Milano
Massimo Ferrari - Claudia Tinazzi
with Annalucia D’Erchia
Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo
Carolina Lucaccioni - Pietro Palladino - Enrico Sacerdote - Lara Valtorta
Shirin Nekoei - Claudia Tinazzi
IULM Libera Università di Lingue e Comunicazione
with Laura Settembrini
with the support of Borsa Italiana
Scientific Restoration Coordinator
Laura Paola Gnaccolini
Chemical and Microbiological Analyses
Università degli Studi di Milano
Silvia Bruni - Francesca Cappitelli
Fondazione La Triennale di Milano
Archivio Fotografico Fondazione Lucio Fontana
GASC - Galleria d’Arte Sacra dei Contemporanei, Milano
Museo del Novecento, Milano
27 OCTOBER 2018 - 27 JANUARY 2019
Daily 10.00-18.00. Closed on Wednesdays
Last ticket: 17.00. Latest entry: 17.10
Museo del Duomo – San Gottardo Church
from € 3,00
For information regarding tickets and means of access: