Italian art returns at Christie’s Milan on 2-3 April 2014

Alberto Burri, Muffa

Following its successful debut last year, Christie’s announced the auctions Milan Modern and Contemporary which will take place on 2 & 3 April 2014 at Palazzo Clerici, Milan. Global demand has never been stronger for 20th Century Italian art,  as witnessed during the record Italian Art sale in London in October 2013, which totalled £26,798,000, and more recently in February this year when the single owner sale ‘Eyes Wide Open: An Italian Vision’ set a benchmark for Post-War Italian art and Arte Povera, realizing £38,427,400. Milan Modern and Contemporary will build on Christie’s recent record breaking auctions of Italian art by continuing to provide the top of the market with a carefully selected group of works synonymous with exceptional quality. The sale will offer, among others, some rare masterpieces of Informal Art, Post-War Italian art, Arte Povera, Modern classics and the Futurist movement, that come from prestigious private Italian collections and are being presented at auction for the first time.

Christie’s will offer at auction a special selection dedicated to the most acclaimed and requested artists working during the exciting era of Milan in the 1960’s, including an impressive Castellani dated 1967, and a rare Achrome dated 1960 by Manzoni. The sale is led by Lucio Fontana’s Concetto spaziale, Attese (estimate: €700,000 – 1,000,000). With its four elegant cuts spaced out rhythmically against its sumptuous red background, this masterpiece perfectly encapsulates the eloquent combination of the conceptual and the sensual that underpinned so many of the artist’s works. Executed in 1964-65, this work is presented to the market in perfect condition, after being in the same private collection for over three decades. Following the exceptional results of Combustione Plastica, by Alberto Burri, which sold in London this past February at a world record price for the artist at auction at £4,674,500, Christie’s will offer another selection of four works by the artists during the auction in Milan, including two Muffa paintings (estimate: €500,000 – 700,000, and estimate: €300,000 – 400,000). Part of a series of only 27 paintings, the Muffa are rare and significant works in which the artist was experimenting with new materials and started using fabric and pumice stone in his compositions to recall organic elements. From an historical point of view, the Muffa are key works to understand the evolution of Burri’s style. Discerning collectors will have the opportunity to acquire works of historical significance at accessible levels.

Christie’s is also sponsor  of the major Piero Manzoni retrospective at Palazzo Reale, Milan (26 March – 2 June 2014).



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