The Italian artist Lucio Fontana was born in Rosario di Santa Fé in Argentina on February 19, 1899. Lucio Fontana attended the Istituto Tecnico Carlo Cattaneo in Milan in 1914. He served in World War I in 1917, however, he was dismissed as early as in 1918, because of an injury. He studied sculpting at the Accademia di Brera in Milan in 1920, but soon followed his family back to Argentina in 1922, where he worked in his father's sculpting studio. He had his own studio in Rosario di Santa Fé in 1924.

On his return to Milan in 1928, Fontana enrolled at the Accademia di belle arti di Brera, which he attended for two years. Besides figurative sculptures, he also made terracotta reliefs and painted gypsum plates around 1930. In 1934 he and Fausto Melotti, Atanasio Soldati, Mauro Reggiani joined the Paris artists group "Abstraction-Création". They set up a manifesto on abstract art in 1935, Fontana's first one-man show with abstract works took place the same year in the Milan Galleria del Milione.

In 1934, he joined the group of abstract Italian sculptors associated with the gallery. The artist traveled to Paris in 1935 and joined the group Abstraction-Création (Abstraction Creation, 1931–36). The same year, he developed his skills in ceramics in Albisola, Italy, and later at the Sèvres factory, near Paris. In 1939, he joined the Milanese anti-Fascist artists' group Corrente (Current, 1938–43). He also intensified his lifelong collaboration with architects during this period.

In 1940, Fontana moved to Buenos Aires. With some of his students, he founded in 1946 the Academia de Altamira, from which emerged the "Manifesto blanco" (White manifesto, 1946). He moved back to Milan in 1947 and in collaboration with a group of writers and philosophers signed the "Primo manifesto dello spazialismo" (First manifesto of spatialism). He subsequently resumed his ceramic work in Albisola to explore these new ideas with his Concetti spaziali (Spatial concepts, 1949–60).

In the early 1950s, he participated in Italian Art Informel exhibitions. During this decade, he explored working with various effects, such as slashing and perforating, in both painting and sculpture. The artist visited New York in 1961 during a show of his work at the Martha Jackson Gallery. In 1966, he designed opera sets and costumes for La Scala, Milan.

Fontana died on September 7, 1968, in Comabbio, Italy.