Our Italian Art sale realised £40,397,150 / $62,534,788 and was 78% sold by lot. Fifteen years after Sotheby’s introduced dedicated sales of 20th-century Italian Art in 1999, auction sales have grown eight-fold from £5.2 million.
The evening was led by Fontana’s La Fine di Dio which sold for £15.9 million, establishing a new auction record for the artist. Last exhibited over thirty years ago, the work had never been offered at auction before. This was one of ten works by Fontana sold in our rooms tonight. Quick-fire bids from seven collectors drove the golden Concetto Spaziale, Attese (1963-4) from the collection of Japanese artist Yoshihara Jiro (founder of the avant-garde Gutai group) to nearly £1 million.
The sale also saw strong prices for four works by Alberto Burri, currently in the spotlight at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum – the artist’s first major U.S. retrospective in over 35 years. Lot 6, a 1956 ‘Combustione’ sold for £1 million over the pre-estimate; three bidders drove the work to £1.8 million.
Lucio Fontana’s greatest achievement, La Fine di Dio is the focal point of the Italian Sale in London this October. Representing the summation of the renowned master of Spatialism’s pioneering career, this extremely rare and colossal egg-shaped canvas shatters the very definition of oil on canvas. The sale is also highlighted by further works from the Italian master including examples of his iconic tagli and olii, as well as an early and remarkable ceramic sculpture. Archetypal works by 20th-century masters Giorgio Morandi, Giorgio De Chirico and Marino Marini are joined by exceptional pieces by post-war pioneer Alberto Burri ahead of his eagerly anticipated retrospective at the Guggenheim in New York. Furthermore, the sale also features a rare installation by Paolo Scheggi: Parete della Intercamera Plastica is the only surviving piece of the artwork-environment constructed for Scheggi’s landmark 1967 exhibition at the Galleria del Naviglio, Milan.
Admission to the sale is by ticket only. Please call +44 (0)20 7293 5891 or email email@example.com for further information.
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|1||Please note the correct exhibition reference is as follows and not as stated in the printed catalogue: LAMeC-Basilica Palladiana, Laboratorio per l'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Amedeo Porro Arte Moderna, Vicenza, Giorgio de Chirico Metafisica dei Bagni misteriosi, 1998, n. 23, pp. 106 & 107, illustrated in the catalogue|
|10||Please note that the correct provenance for this work is as follows: Private Collection, Bologna Koelliker Collection, Milan Robilant & Voena, London Acquired directly from the above by the present owner in 2014 And that it was not included in the exhibitions stated in the printed catalogue.|
|14||Please note that this work was on loan to the Museo MAGA in Gallarate from 2014-15 and not as stated in the printed catalogue and is illustrated in the below book published by the Fondazione Passaré. Enrico Crispolti, Burri: Esistenziale, Milan 2015, p. 8, illustrated|
|17||Please note that this work was acquired from the Janlet Collection, Brussels, by the previous owner in 2012 and not as stated in the printed catalogue and was exhibited in the 1964 exhibition Peinture de Fontana. Les Oeufs célestes. Astral Eggs. Concetti Ovale at Galerie Iris Clert, Paris. Please also note that this lot is subject to a guaranteed minimum price and an irrevocable bid. Please refer to the printed catalogue for information on guaranteed property and irrevocable bids.|
|21||Please note that the correct dimensions for this work are 300 by 267 by 110cm.; 118 1/8 by 105 1/8 by 43 1/4 in. and not as stated in the printed catalogue.|
|47||Please note that this work was acquired from the Galleria Lia Rumma, Naples, in 1988 and not as stated in the printed catalogue.|
|48||Please note that this work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.|