A new auction record was set for the American Italian artist Salvatore Scarpitta. Forager for Plankton was first exhibited in the artist’s breakthrough show the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York in 1959, the year it was painted. The painting sold for £2.2 million, more than double the previous record for the artist. Alberto Burri’s blood-red Rosso Plastica 5, one of the finest examples from the artist’s Plastiche series was acquired for £4.7 million. This follows the £9.1 million record for the artist set at Sotheby’s earlier this year by Sacco e Rosso, 1959. Other auction records were set for: Franco Angeli when four bidders drove Tunisia to £100,000; for Nuvolo when his Untitled work sold for £56,250; and for Fabio Mauri when his 1972 canvas realised £125,000.
This sale offers outstanding pieces by Modern and Contemporary Italian masters. Seminal works by Giorgio Morandi and Marino Marini are joined by an exceptional Plastica by Alberto Burri, Salvatore Scarpitta’s striking Forager for Plankton and an iconic Concetto Spaziale, Attese by Lucio Fontana. Works by Enrico Castellani include the only remaining painting from his ground-breaking Ambiente Spaziale. The sale also features several key sculptures by Fausto Melotti, including his seminal Scultura no. 12, as well as four works from the renowned collection of Paolo and Alida Giuli: two beautiful works by Alighiero Boetti, a decollage by Mimmo Rotella and a mesmeric Superficie Bianca by Enrico Castellani.