Nelson Leirner

Homage to Fontana II

1967

In Tate Modern

Artist
Nelson Leirner 1932–2020
Original title
Homenagem a Fontana II
Medium
Cotton, steel and aluminium
Dimensions
Object: 1800 × 1240 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by Patricia Phelps de Cisneros through the Latin American Acquisitions Committee in honour of Tiqui Atencio Demirdjian 2009
Reference
T12976

Display caption

Homage to Fontana II is a playful tribute to Italian artist Lucio Fontana, who punctured or sliced canvases to create a new space beyond the surface of the painting. Leirner’s work replaces the cuts with zippers, revealing panels of differently coloured fabric. Originally, Leirner invited viewers to make their own reversible ‘cuts’ in the fabric by zipping and unzipping the panels. He planned to produce multiple versions of his Homage to Fontana works, to be sold at a very low cost.
Leirner first exhibited at the 7th São Paulo Biennial in 1963. In 1969, he was one of several artists who boycotted the 10th Biennial to protest against the repressive actions of Brazil’s military dictatorship.

Gallery label, March 2022

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