ARIZONA, PHOENIX, 1979
Franco Fontana, from Modena, born in 1933, is a versatile artist, among the most important in Italy and the world. He has embraced color photography since the 1960s, when it was not yet considered authorial, making it an inexhaustible field of research. His landscapes, with large backgrounds, recall an artistic tradition centered on the interaction between form and color à la Mark Rothko. Fontana matured a powerfully original gaze capable of capturing the secret geometries of the world, and made color itself the subject of his works. Initially drawn to nature, a trip to the United States led him to come to terms with American light. In the photograph Arizona’s 1979 Phoenix, the urban setting devoid of human presence is stripped of its primary characteristics, leaving space for geometries and the relationship between saturated and vibrant colors. The car, a symbolic object of American culture, is set among unpredictable architectural elements that punctuate the space. Allthough it is a protagonist in the composition, it remains hidden from the gaze, transforming itself into a question.