The Academia Altamira was founded by the Argentinian born Italian artist Lucio Fontana and others. In practice much of the art produced by the artists involved with the school was abstract. In 1946 Fontana and a group of his students published the Manifiesto Blanco (white manifesto) setting out their ideas. Strongly influenced by futurism, it called for an art that was a synthesis of colour, sound, movement, time and space.

Among Fontana’s pupils at the Altamira Academy was the Brazilian artist Sergio de Camargo. In 1947 Fontana returned to Italy.