UK Contemporary art sales day#2: Amazing results for Arte Povera at Christie’s – 11 February 2014

All fools for Arte Povera. Great results last night at Christie’s in London for the auction entitled Eyes Wide Open, the collection of Italian origin who is rumored to belong to a couple of collectors of Como Nerio and Marina Fossati.
The sale totaled £ 38.4 million for the 109 lots in the catalog (£ 44.5 million including buyer’s premium ) , of which 23 have not found a buyer. The result stands well above the highest pre-auction estimate , with 13 artists’ records , including Pistoletto , Kounellis and Mario Merz.
Among the first lots, Piero Manzoni‘s Achrome, size 45×45 cm with an estimate of £ 300-400,000, has exceeded £ 500,000, as well as Enrico Castellani with Superficie Bianca of ’66 that from the same estimate came close to £700,000.
Top lot of the evening for Alberto Burri with Combustione Plastica, which from an estimate of £ 600-800000 reached the astounding figure of £ 4.6 million due to the bidding of the dealer David Nahmad. His previous record dates back to 2011 for a Combustione Legno sold at £ 3.1 million.

PINO PASCALI (1935-1968) Torso di negra al bagno (Nascita di Venere)  enamel on canvas, wool, inflatable balloons, wood structure and shaped painted base 73⅝ x 53⅞ x 42⅛in. (187 x 137 x 107cm.) Executed in 1964-1965 Estimate: £1,100,000-1,500,000 CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2013

PINO PASCALI (1935-1968)
Torso di negra al bagno (Nascita di Venere)
enamel on canvas, wool, inflatable balloons, wood structure and shaped painted base
73⅝ x 53⅞ x 42⅛in. (187 x 137 x 107cm.)
Executed in 1964-1965
Estimate: £1,100,000-1,500,000
CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD. 2013

One of the icons of the sale is Lui e Lei by Michelangelo Pistoletto, which was sold at £1.9 million – another artist’s record – starting from an estimate of £ 600-800.000. Made at the beginning of 1968, the work was the centerpiece of one of the most popular exhibitions of Pistoletto at Galleria l’Attico in Rome in 1968.
The two works by Alighiero Boetti, Addition and Subtraction of 1974 reached record figures completely crushing the estimates : Addition was sold at £ 1.7 million , Subtraction at £ 1.5 million, both won by the producer Pietro Valsecchi. From the same artist, Red Gilera 60 1232 – Red Guzzi 60 , 1305, from an estimate of £ 450-650000 was sold to £ 1.7 million and I sei sensi at £ 1.3 million.
The Torso of a beautiful black woman in the bathroom of Pino Pascali in 1964 marked the third highest price for the artist, £1.5 million, preceded by the prestigious record reached last October, also in London with Muro di pietra (pietra pietra) .
Some examples of ceramics of Lucio Fontana, Concetto Spaziale , Natura has been sold at £ 1.2 million , a record for this type for the artist, next to another smaller sold for £ 806.500 .

Jannis Kounellis

Among other important records to report, that of Luciano Fabro Piede, a sculpture exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 1972, sold at £ 962.500; Jannis Kounellis Untitled, 1968 with dimensions of 202×159 cm which from an estimate of £ 400-600.000 was beaten for £ 1.2 million; Mario Merz, brought home by Nicolò Cardi for £ 1 million based on an estimate of £ 450-650000 .
But even some pink trophies: for Rosemarie Trockel with a canvas of 2×2 meters entitled o . T. (Made in Western Germany) sold at £ 722.500; Marisa Merz with an installation consisting of a wax violin, sold for £ 206.500; Julia Mangold with a steel sculpture sold for £ 13.750, which prices has always stopped at the threshold of £ 10,000.

 

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