Nelson Leirner was actively involved in a continuous project to challenge the way in which the art world grants critical and commercial value to objects. In São Paulo, Brazil, in 1967, he presented the exhibition Mass Production of Painting—Pictures at Cost Price, which featured a series of multiple paintings titled _ Homage to Fontana_. The artist insisted that the works, composed of colored fabrics and zippers, be sold for no more than the cost of materials. At the same time, he alluded to the contemporaneous success of Italian artist Lucio Fontana, celebrated for his ruptured, sliced, and perforated canvases. Originally, Leirner invited the audience to use the zippers and thereby join him in the creation of multiple formal configurations, turning the romantic gesture of the solitary artist into a participatory and reversible one.
Copyright 2009 Walker Art Center