“Lucio Fontana”

Fontana’s La Fine di Dio to lead Sotheby’s London’s Frieze Week Sales

Lucio Fontana’s Concetto Spaziale (1959) and La Fine di Dio (The End of God) (1963) will lead Sotheby’s London’s Frieze week sales on 15 October 2015. La Fine di Dio, one of the greatest examples of Post-war Italian art, was last exhibited over 30 years ago and has never before been offered at auction. It will lead the auction house’s Italian Sale and is estimated to fetch between £15 and 20 million. La Fine di Dio, which is considered the “holy grail” for collectors of Fontana, is a human-sized black egg peppered with holes punctured, slashed, stabbed and gouged by the artist’s bare hands, giving it a crater-like surface. Painted in 1963, shortly after Gagarin became the first man in space, the painting’s lunar appearance echoes Fontana’s fascination with the notion of space travel and the advances of science and technology. Both pieces together are estimated to reach £35.2-48.6 million at the auction in October. Sales at Sotheby’s Italian auction last year blew the pre-sale estimates of £23.8-33.5 million out of the water, with total sales reaching £41.4 million, an all-time record for any auction of its time. Following the Italian sale, the auction house will also auction off the works of up-and-coming contemporary artists as well as the masters of post-war painting. For instance, it will feature work by rising stars Cory Arcangel and Ella Kruglyanskaya, alongside landmark paintings by Frank Auerbach and Agnes Martin. The combined estimate for Sotheby’s three sales during Frieze week sales stands at £79.4-110.8m...

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Fontana’s masterpieces to lead London Frieze’s sales

Sotheby’s Frieze week sales are coming up in London, and kick off on 15 October until 16 October 2015. Two of the features of the sale are Lucio Fontana’s Concetto Spaziale (1959), and La Fine di Dio (The End of God, 1963). This piece has never been put up for sale, and the last time it was on show was well over thirty years ago.  The piece is estimated to fetch between £15 and 20 million, with the current record being £13.1 million. It consists of a large black egg, which is the size of a human, and has been punched, stabbed and gouged by the artist’s hands, which has created a cratered image, and is considered to be the “holy grail” for collectors of Fontana. The piece was created in 1963 after Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was the first man to go to space, the painting’s lunar appearance echoes Fontana’s fascination with the notion of space travel and the advances of science and technology. La Fine di Dio will be at the forefront of the Italian Sale on 15 October. Both pieces together are estimated to reach £35.2-48.6 million. Lucio Fontana, born in 1899 in Santa Fe, Argentina was an Italian painter, sculptor and theorist. He is known as the founder of Spatialism and for his ties to Arte Povera. Fontana studied under sculptor Adolfo Wildt at the Accademia di Brera from 1928 until 1930 and has held exhibitions through Europe and United States. The auction house will also auction off the works of contemporary artists as well as the masters of post-war painting. Works by rising stars Cory Arcangel, Ella Kruglyanskaya, Frank Auerbach and Agnes Martin will be on show. The combined estimate for Sotheby’s three sales during Frieze week sales stands at £79.4-110.8m...

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Sotheby’s highest ever Contemporary sale result in London at £123 million

Sotheby’s London Contemporary Art Evening Auction fetched a total of £123,515,250, their highest ever total for a sale in Europe. The sold rate of the sale was high, with 86% of lots finding buyers. The most expensive piece of the sale was Gerhard Richter‘s Abstraktes Bild, which sold for £30.38 million, far above its high-end estimate of £20 million. This marked a new record for a living European artist. Francis Bacon’s diptych Two Studies for a Self-Portrait, whose sale was highly anticipated, sold within its estimate at £14.7 million.  Another lot which exceeded its high-end estimate was Lucio Fontana’s Concetto Spaziale, Atteste, which sold for £8.38 million. Other high-selling lots were: Yves Klein’s Untitled Blue Monochrome, which sold for £6.09 million, above its high-end estimate of £4.6 million; Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Campaign, which sold for £4.4 million, above its high-end estimate of £4 million; and Cy Twombly’s Crimes of Passion I, which sold for £4.07...

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Time to modernise? the future of the Italian art market

Whilst the two European art capitals, London and Paris, have enjoyed a few weeks under the spotlight thanks to fairs Frieze and FIAC, there has been another player making its way to the foreground of international attention: Italy. With a relatively restricted art market on their home soil, Italian galleries are migrating and making their presence known elsewhere in Europe. Italian artworks are equally experiencing huge popularity with two recent October sales of Italian art at Christie’s and Sotheby’s, London, realising £27.6 million and £41.4 million respectively. Furthermore a huge number of commercial galleries are mounting exhibitions of contemporary Italian art and profiting from this wave of interest in the genre. Despite this, strict regulations placed on the Italian export market are suffocating the growth of its own domestic market. According to Katy Barnato from CNBC, the system is “in dire need of change” in order for Italy to profit from its artistic output. Whilst there is a huge artistic output in Italy across history, the market is relatively small, the inverse of markets such as London’s; works deemed as ‘national treasures’ are not permitted to leave the country on a permanent basis and all paintings over 50 years old need official authorisation to leave. The Financial Times reports that “one of the strongest parts of the Italian art market today is Italian art from the 1950s and 1960s” including the extremely popular Arte Povera movement that took place from 1967 to 1972; these works are beginning to fall into the category of pieces older than 50 years and therefore have limited freedom of exportation, rendering them far less valuable. According to The Art Newspaper these works are loosing on average 70 to 80% of their value due to the fact that they cannot be sold on the international market. As...

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Italian Art sale at Sotheby’s

Sotheby’s London is to present a sale of Italian art at 6pm BST on 17 October, featuring almost 50 works by artists such as Marino Marini, Lucio Fontana, and Piero Manzoni. One of the key works in the sale is one of Manzoni’s Achromes, which is over a meter wide, and which last went on display at Tate Modern in 2005. The artist described these paintings as “a single uninterrupted and continuous surface from which anything superfluous and all interpretative possibilities are excluded.” The estimate for the work is between £5 million and £7 million, the highest in the sale. Another important work is Fontana’s Concetto Spaziale, Attese (1964), comprising of seven fine incisions into a pure white canvas, which Sotheby’s describes as an “extraordinary meeting of Modernism with the Catholic art historical tradition.” This lot is estimated between £2.2 million and £2.8...

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