Contemporary Auction
Live Auction: 13 April 2022 • 6:00 PM CEST • Milan

Contemporary Auction 13 April 2022 • 6:00 PM CEST • Milan

S otheby’s is delighted to present its spring Contemporary Auction featuring impressive works from Italian and internationally celebrated artists, coming from several distinguished collections.

The premium collection is led by a seminal painting by Domenico Gnoli (Mise en plis no. 1, 1964), together with a unique selection of iconic still life by Giorgio Morandi, executed in three different moment of his life, 1924, 1948 and 1960.

We are particularly delighted to offer a superb early monochrome by Mario Schifano from a distinguished private collection (Milano, 1962), a superlative example of this series, executed the year of the commitment with gallerist Ileana Sonnabend.

Highlights include works by Piero Manzoni (Achrome 1962 ca.), a colorful large embroidery by Alighiero Boetti dated 1988 which includes both Arabic and Farsi characters, a perfect-centered green Concetto Spaziale, Attesa by Lucio Fontana and an intense Sacco e nero by Alberto Burri, executed in 1955.

A particular mention goes to a coherent group of works from the collection of a gentleman, including Tancredi (Untitled, 1958), Afro (Casa Aperta, 1959), Emilio Vedova (Emergency, 1988) and John Chamberlain (Whimzee 2006). The time frame of this collection ideally outlines the relationship between parallel Italian abstract expressionism and the American movement with its protagonists.

Leading the diverse array of paintings, paperworks and sculpture are a remarkable selection of works by international talent, counting George Condo, Damien Hirst, Cy Twombly, Alfred Leslie, Stanley Whitney and Azuko Tanaka, among their ranks.

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Auction Highlights

"What makes Alighiero Boetti’s oeuvre stand out from the rest of contemporary art? I believe it is that phenomenal intuition for systems – it was by mean of them that he undertook quite pioneering incredible anthropological and future-oriented research."
Jean-Christophe Ammann, 1998

A Glimpse into Sculpture
The Italian Way for Gestural Abstraction
International Appeal

View 1 of Lot 13: Mise en plis n. 1
Domenico Gnoli
Mise en plis n. 1
Estimate: 800,000 – 1,200,000 EUR
The Freedom of Vision: A Masterpiece by Domenico Gnoli
"I paint as I like without worrying, any longer, about the culture of the century (...) and in the same way I intend to live: true and faithful only to what, more or less, I feel at this moment. I have painted many imaginary characters (...) and then many portraits, but with one difference: instead of being people seen from the face, they are people seen from the back. Why, I asked myself, does one paint mountains seen from every angle and so the houses, the flowers, the animals, everything. Not in the case of men and women, they are exceptionally only painted face front, at a three-quarter angle or in profile. Why?"
Domenico Gnoli, Lettere e scritti, Milano 2004, pp.41-42
View 1 of Lot 11: Milano
Mario Schifano
Estimate: 800,000 – 1,000,000 EUR
Schifano’s Blues
“Mario Schifano's curiosity, vitality, taste for improvisation, his artistic restlessness and poetic sensitivity, his neo-romantic emotionality, but also his subversive irony and, above all, his intelligent rejection of all conventional boundaries between aesthetic orientations, all contribute to giving his painting an apparently ineffable and exotic character. The moving, effective, convincing intensity of his pictorial language denotes the detachment of Schifano's art from all know conventional currents and the impossibility of assimilating it to any method or language of contemporary art”.
Lorand Hegyi in Schifano 1934-1998, exhibition catalogue, Rome 1998, p. 25
View 1 of Lot 19: Natura morta
Giorgio Morandi
Natura morta
Estimate: 800,000 – 1,200,000 EUR
Morandi: A Fatal Attraction
“Indeed, Morandi is someone for whom you can have a fatal crush for, because in Morandi, if you look closely, you can see... a point... a bit like in Borges' novel, The Aleph. The Aleph is a point from which, no one knows how, you can see so many other things in the world, all at the same time. In Morandi's paintings, so apparently simple, so rigorous, there is always a place, a point from which to spy into infinite...".
Bernardo Bertolucci, 2012

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