Throughout his prolific career, Lucio Fontana demonstrated a relentless interest in the relationship between surface and dimensionality. Fontana formulated the theory of Spatialism in a series of manifestos dating from the late 1940s to early 1950s, proposing that matter should be infiltrated by energy in order to generate dimensional, dynamic artistic forms. Fontana implemented this theory in his series Concetto Spaziale (‘spatial concept’), punching holes in the picture plane and slicing through his canvases in order to expose the dimensional space beneath. Fontana’s innovative theories prefigured later developments in environmental art, performance art, and Arte Povera.
Today Fontana's works can be found in the permanent collections of more than one hundred museums around the world. In particular, examples from the Pietre series are housed in the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Centre Pompidou, Paris, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, Rome, and the van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven.