The Italian Sale brought the highest total for any 20th-century Italian Art sale at any auction house, realising £41,412,650. The sale was led by Piero Manzoni’s Achrome which sold for £12,626,500 against an estimate of £5-7 million and made a new record for the artist. There was a strong demand for Zero; Alongside Manzoni, works by Castellani, Bonalumi and Simeti nearly doubled the previous records for the artists. All three works came from Giobatta Meneguzzo’s collection and were sold to benefit his museum, the Museo Casabianca. Fontana’s Concetto Spaziale, Attese (1964-65) also soared to £1,560,900 against an estimate of £700,000 -900,000.
Presenting masterpieces by artists from Marino Marini to Lucio Fontana, the Italian Sale includes one of Piero Manzoni’s most monumental Achromes. Spanning an expansive 150cm in width, it is one of the largest works from this series ever created. It is joined by an important Futurist work by Giacomo Balla, formerly in the private collection of distinguished founding director of MoMA in New York, Alfred Barr, which has remained in the family ever since it was acquired directly from the artist.
Offering major paintings from the renowned Collection of Alessandro Grassi, such as Alighiero Boetti’s Tavole Pitagoriche, the sale will also include remarkable pieces by Enrico Castellani, Agostino Bonalumi, Turi Simeti and Lucio Fontana from Giobatta Meneguzzo’s tightly curated collection originally presented in his house, “lo scarabeo sotto la foglia”, an architectural vision designed by the illustrious Giò Ponti in 1964.