Lucio Fontana, Concetto Spaziale, Attese, 1961. Estiamte €600,000-800,000.

MILAN - The exhibition From Jean Royère to Lucio Fontana at Sotheby’s Milan showcased the best of 1940s–1960s French Design production together with Spatialism Milanese artists, led by Lucio Fontana. From 15 to 19 April 2015, Sotheby’s Milan at Palazzo Broggi, presented a selection of 20th Century Decorative items from the Paris Design sale (21 May, 2015) and an overview of “unusual” works by Fontana, from the Milan Modern & Contemporary Art sale (20 and 21 May).


Jean Royère, Eléphanteau armchair, 1947 (€40,000–60,000) and Lucio Fontana, Concetto Spaziale, fucsia, 1964 (€500,000-700,000).

Florent Jeanniard, Director Specialist of the Design Department at Sotheby’s Paris, commented: “This year Sotheby's is pleased to participate in its own way at the “Salone del Mobile. It has become an unmissable event for connoisseurs of design and interior decoration. For six days the city is buzzing as editors, gallerists, art dealers and luxury brands descend on the city to take part in this keenly awaited fair. It was therefore the perfect place to bring some of the truly exceptional objects in our Paris Design sale.”


Jean Royère, Fauteuils Boule dit Ours polaire, a pair of oak armchairs green upholstery, circa 1948-1949. Estimate €120,000-150,000.

The Paris Design sale focused on Jean Royère’s works. In 1934, Jean Royère (1902-1981) signed the new layout of the Brasserie Carlton on the Champs Elysées in Paris, achieving an immediate success. This was the beginning of an international career, in which he applied what he had learnt in the cabinetmaking workshops of the Faubourg Saint-Antoine in Paris. Royère, a key figure of the 50’s Avant-garde, pioneered an original style combining bright colours, organic forms and precious materials within a wide range of innovative accomplishments. Among his patrons were King Farouk, King Hussein of Jordan, and the Shah of Iran, who were fascinated by his freedom of creation and his elegance and entrusted him with the layout of their palaces. Jean Royère has always been attracted by organic elements: the dramatic Eléphanteau armchair, dated 1947, and the pair of Ours Polaire armchairs, dated 1949-50, are perfect examples of Jean Royère's romantic and artisanal sensibility. The exhibition will display production from the 1960s, including a pair of Soffleur armchairs, which lines suggest a new concept of volume.


A lacquered tubular aluminium armchair by Robert Mallet-Stevens, circa 1932. Estimate €7,000-9,000.

The Milanese preview will also offer another important example of French Design, the 1928 revolutionary desk chair: Transat, signed by Robert-Mallet Stevens, an innovative Parisian designer who founded, in 1929, the Union des Artistes Modernes, an antagonist movement to the decorativism of Art Nouveau. Raphaelle Blanga, Head of Modern & Contemporary Art Department, Sotheby’s Milan, said: “The Milan exhibition will offer a special opportunity of dialogue between the French design production, from 1949 to the 1960s, and the Milanese Spatialism. We are glad to present a suggestive overview of Lucio Fontana’s production, offering a selection of his most unusual works from the 1940s to the 1960s”. Among the works held in this exhibition, three Concetti Spaziali from Lucio Fontana will be shown. They were made between 1960-1964, realized with sophisticated colours such as fuchsia, orange and intense green. Further items from the Milan sale will also display artists such as Shiro Kuramata, Ettore Sottass, Andrea Branzi or Zaha Hadid.


Lucio Fontana, Concetto Spaziale, Attese, 1963. Estimate €500,000-700,000.