Contemporary Art | Milan
Online Auction: 20–27 November 2020 • 4:00PM CET

Contemporary Art | Milan 20–27 November 2020 • 4:00 PM CET • Milan

This auction will now close on 4:00PM CET on Friday, 27 November.

S otheby’s Milan is delighted to announce Contemporary Art I Milan to be held from November 20-26. In the wake of the success achieved in June, the Italian team is pleased to present an extraordinary selection of works by leading post-war and contemporary Italian and international masters spanning the early 20th century to the present day.

Led by seminal works of century-defining artists, the sale brings together the very best of Italian creativity through many different artistic media: from a signature oil on canvas by Giorgio Morandi, an early work on paper by Umberto Boccioni from 1907 and an exquisite metaphysical canvas by Giorgio de Chirico from the 1920s, to modern masterpieces of the post-war era by artists such as Giuseppe Capogrossi, Afro and Emilio Vedova.

The sale will offer a window onto the Arte Povera movement, through works by Alighiero Boetti, Giulio Paolini and Michelangelo Pistoletto, as well as a concise survey of the lively Italian Pop Art season by way of works by Mario Schifano, Valerio Adami and Cesare Tacchi.

As in previous editions, this season’s sale will present a highly curated selection of works by internationally renowned masters such as Alexander Calder, Alex Katz, Yves Klein, Josef Albers, Kenneth Noland, Max Bill and Luis Tomasello that excel both in quality and provenance. Further highlights include a delicate landscape by Paul Klee from 1931, two early works on paper executed in the 1940s by Wifredo Lam and a large canvas by Victor Brauner dated 1964, all from distinguished Italian private collections.

Furthermore, the sale will be wrapped up by a refined selection of ceramics by Fausto Melotti from a private collection in Milan.

Featured Highlights


Following the recent auction records set for Morandi, including a European record for the artist achieved in Milan in November 2018, we are glad to present another extraordinary canvas by this globally acclaimed artist.

Giorgio Morandi ©Foto Lamberto Vitali, stampa Luca Carrà. Fondo Lamberto Vitali - Luca Carrà, Civico Archivio Fotografico, Milano.
©Foto Lamberto Vitali, stampa Luca Carrà. Fondo Lamberto Vitali - Luca Carrà, Civico Archivio Fotografico, Milano.

This delicate Natura Morta from 1946, formerly in the collection of Venetian gallerist Carlo Cardazzo, captivates and inspires the viewer with the perfection of its keen and silent composition. The interplay between space, light and colour seal the still life in an eternal and ethereal dimension. Although Morandi constantly repeated certain subject matters throughout his artistic career, each work bears a new and authentic emotional depth.

By capturing the most common elements that define everyday life and digging into their true essence and soul, Morandi gives his paintings a sublime aura that continues and will continue to resonate in the present and future.

Giorgio Morandi
Estimate: 600,000 – 800,000 EUR
ESTIMATE: 600,000 - 800,000 EUR

oil on canvas
Executed in 1946
(firmato olio su tela Eseguito nel 1946)

cm 26x42,5; inches 10.24 by 16.73
Framed: cm 34x50,5x4; inches 13.39 by 19.88 by 4

De Chirico

Sotheby’s Milan is thrilled to present a pair of quintessential works by Giorgio de Chirico, which come to auction following the recent world auction record for the artist achieved this month at Sotheby’s in New York.

Despite having been painted at different moments in de Chirico's career, Mobili nella valle from 1928, Interno metafisico from 1951 and Mobili nella valle executed in the 1960s, all demonstrate the constant investigation of metaphysical subjects that the artist conducted throughout his life.

As a theatrical scene, de Chirico paints his personal interpretation of the metaphysical, where an apparently casual gathering of everyday objects merges with natural elements and poetic landscapes. The stillness of these scenes reminds us that reality is nothing more than a screen on which the artist projects a drama deriving from his own interior world.

A classic view of Venice's Canal Grande is also included in this selection dedicated to Giorgio de Chirico.

Giorgio de Chirico
Estimate: 100,000 – 150,000 EUR
ESTIMATE: 100,000 - 150,000 EUR

signed; signed, titled and inscribed on the reverse
oil on canvas
Executed in 1955

(firmato; firmato, intitolato e iscritto sul retro olio su tela Eseguito nel 1955)

cm 49x78,3; inches 19.29 by 30.82
Framed (con cornice): cm 80x108,5x8,2; inches 31.49 by 42,71 by 3.22


The pictorial language of Giuseppe Capogrossi is unmistakably unique and iconic. What can be definitely called his is the alphabet, game and identity with which he infuses his expressive modus operandi that takes a clear distance from his contemporaries.

Starting from the Venice Biennale of 1950, the artist undertook a road with no return that led him to conquer a unique “Sign” which becomes an emblem of his inner world.

To Capogrossi, the canvas is a pure surface (hence the title of his works Superficie followed by a number), a tabula rasa where his “Sign” gets hold of the space, in a dozen of variants, size, density, structures and colours.

Giuseppe Capogrossi

Unlike the earlier expressionist painters, the language and style in Capogrossi’s works are never too violent or enraged, neither seductive nor openly unconscious. On the contrary, his sign structures arise on the canvas as hieroglyphs that hypnotize the viewer for the intensity of the compositions and the mystery of these symbols that require at times a reading and interpretation through the affinity of a child.

In the diverse landscape of post-war abstraction, the artistic approach of Giuseppe Capogrossi lays down one of the most candid and humanistic paths within this era.

Giuseppe Capogrossi
Estimate: 240,000 – 350,000 EUR
ESTIMATE 240,000 - 350,000 EUR

signed and dated 57
oil on canvas
This work is accompanied by a photo-certificate issued by Guglielmo Capogrossi on 5 December 2012, Rome.

(firmato e datato 57 olio su tela Opera accompagnata da certificato su fotografia rilasciato da Guglielmo Capogrossi il 5 dicembre 2012, Roma.)

cm 145,5x114; inches 57.28 by 44.88
Melotti Ceramics Collection

We are proud to present a refined selection of the most iconic ceramic production from a private Milanese collection by the multifaceted artist Fausto Melotti. In this extremely diverse range of works, one can capture the fervent exploration that the artist undertook to explore the infinite possibilities of ceramics and to ultimately achieve an authentic sense of beauty and sculptural equilibrium.

International Artists from Italian Collections
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Interactive Gallery Tour
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Milan Contemporary | Where Italian Creativity Meets International Masterws

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