Fontana conceived of Portrait of Antonin Artaud as a hybrid between an illustrated book and an object. Its largest component is a container for a book by Otto Hahn about the French playwright, actor, poet, artist, and theater director Antonin Artaud (1896–1948), whose transgressive ideas fascinated many artists in the 1960s. Fontana’s “illustrations” for the book are oval-shaped sheets of different materials including two in vibrant hues of translucent plexiglass. The die-cut holes in each one extended from his practice of slashing and puncturing his paintings.
Gallery label from 2021