Contemporary Auction
Live Auction: 23 November 2022 • 6:00 PM CET • Milan

Contemporary Auction 23 November 2022 • 6:00 PM CET • Milan

T his fall, Sotheby’s is delighted to present Contemporary Auction in Milan, featuring an eclectic array of works by Italian and internationally celebrated artists from several distinguished collections. The sale is led by a seminal painting by Domenico Gnoli, Le canapé bleu from 1964, and a quintessential Natura morta from 1959 by Giorgio Morandi, rendered in delicate swashes of green and blue. Among the top lots of the sale, Colonna from 1968 by Alighiero Boetti is a superlative example of this rare series, which embodies the original ésprit of arte povera.

Diving into the world of Lucio Fontana, this season’s sale touches upon various stages of the artist’s production: from the Metalli, to the Oli, Aniline, terracottas and ceramics. Major highlights by Fontana include an iconic Concetto Spaziale, New York from 1962, the year the artist first embarked in New York, which left a deep impact in the artist for its vertiginous verticality, a glossy pink canvas Concetto Spaziale from the same year and a masterfully executed ceramic, Drago from 1949-50, which encapsulates Fontana’s approach to sculpture.

The selection of Italian works is set in constant dialogue with their international counterparts, highlighting the foresight of Italian collections. Bringing to light the affinities between artists and works, such as between a gestural painting by Emilio Vedova titled Oltre 5 from 1985 and a monumental canvas by Hermann Nitsch from 1984,

Further highlights by international masters include Henryk Stazewski, Hans Hartung, Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Andy Warhol, Victor Vasarely and Sam Francis, among their ranks.

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Auction Highlights

Alighiero Boetti, Colonna

"This pleasure that I have in doing things and seeing the things that others do. Indeed, it is this that attracts me in the current. I like to go with others who play with thought, the thought of mathematicians, logicians, theologians, or musicians."
Alighiero Boetti


Alighiero Boetti
Colonna, 1968
Estimate: € 1.000.000-1.500.000

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The Boundless World of Lucio Fontana

Domenico Gnoli, Le canapé bleu

"At a time like this of iconoclastic Anti-Painting.... I tend to situate my work in that "non-eloquent" tradition born in Italy in the Quattrocento and come down to us via the Metaphysical school. The common object, isolated from its usual context, appears to us as the most disturbing witness of this loneliness of ours with no more recourse to ideologies and certainties"
Domenico Gnoli


Domenico Gnoli
Le canapé bleu, 1964
Estimate: € 1.000.000-1.500.000

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Giorgio Morandi, Natura morta

“I suppose I remain... a believer in Art for Art's sake rather than in Art for the sake of religion, of social justice or of national glory. Nothing is more alien to me than an art which sets out to serve other purposes than those implied in the work of art in itself...“
Giorgio Morandi


Giorgio Morandi
Natura morta, 1959
Estimate: € 700.000-1.000.000

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Anatomy of an Artwork: Alighiero Boetti's Mappa

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