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  • Press release
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  • Milan
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  • For immediate release
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  • 18 May 2022

20th/21st Century: Milan Online Sales

Part I: 25 May - 8 June
Part II: 3 June - 16 June

Lucio Fontana, Concetto spaziale, (Attesa), (1964, estimate: €800,000-1,200,000), 20th/21st Century: Milan Online Sale Part I and
Mimmo Rotella, Quasi archeologico, (1955, estimate: €40,000-60,000), 20th/21st Century: Milan Online Sale Part II 

MILAN - Christie’s presents two Milan based online sales, 20th/21st Century: Milan Online Sale Part I and 20th/21st Century: Milan Online Sale Part II, focused on the work of Italian and international post-war and contemporary artists and offering paintings, works on paper, sculptures, and photographs.

The auctions include works by Enrico Castellani, Piero Dorazio, Lucio Fontana, Jannis Kounellis, Christo, Wassily Kandinsky, Alighiero Boetti, Mario Schifano, Sam Francis, Gerhard Richter and Franz West among others. Elena Zaccarelli, Senior Specialist, Head of Sale, Impressionist & Modern Art, Milan: After the success of the recent 20/21 auctions in New York, we continue in Milan with the 20th/21st Century: Milan Online Sale Part I and Part II, a pair of online sales dedicated to masterpieces of the 20th and 21st century.  Collectors will find a curated selection of artworks from sought after Italian and international artists, which speak to the current market trends, also witnessed in the  successful London 20/21 sales in March. We look forward to welcoming our clients to Christie’s Milan to experience these works. 

Alighiero Boetti, Segno e disegno 1979, (1979, estimate: €100,000-150,000)  and 
Jannis Kounellis, Senza titolo, (2002, estimate: €120,000-180,000) 

20th/21st Century: Milan Online Sale Part I

This sale is highlighted by Lucio Fontana’s Concetto Spaziale, [Attesa] (1964, estimate: €800,000-1,200,000, illustrated above left, page 1), demonstrating how the artist was influenced by the Space Age of the 1950’s and 1960’s. From the late 1950’s he considered his artworks to be concetti spaziali (‘spatial concepts’), interdimensional objects that united time, space and movement. Concetto Spaziale, [Attesa] was painted in 1964 and purchased in 1967 by the family of the present owner. It is also an example of Fontana’s red single tagli works, or ‘cuts’.

Alighiero Boetti’s Segno e disegno 1979, (1979, estimate: €100,000-150,000, illustrated bottom left, page 1), was gifted from Alighiero to his housekeeper – she kept it in her daughter’s trousseau, ensuring the work remained in immaculate condition. It is a monochrome example of Alighiero Boetti’s Arazzi, or tapestries; it has never been exhibited until now. These embroidered works, were designed by the artist and fabricated by skilled Afghan weavers.

Senza titolo by Jannis Kounellis is a striking large scale example of one of Jannis Kounellis’ wall reliefs (2002, estimate: €120,000-180,000, illustrated bottom right, page 1). Comprising six jute sacks affixed to a two-metre-tall sheet of iron, it captures the artist’s fascination with raw, everyday media. Kounellis came to prominence as a leading exponent of the Arte Povera movement. Sacks played an important role in his practice from the very beginning, featuring in major works now held in the Tate Modern, London and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Painted in Rome in 1962, at the height of Piero Dorazio’s early practice, Visita di Venere is a rare example of his reticoli (‘grid paintings’) (1962, €260,000-360,000). It is part of a series of large-scale works inspired by what art historian Marisa Volpi Orlandini describes as ‘imaginary spaces’. Held in the artist’s collection until 2003, it was then acquired directly from Dorazio by the present owner. Visita di Venere was included in the 1963 Sao Paolo Biennale, and has since featured in many of Dorazio’s most important international retrospectives. 

Mario Sironi, Ciclista, (c.1920 estimate: €3,000-5,000)  and /
Franz West, Senza titolo, (1991, estimate: €30,000-40,0000) 

20th/21st Century: Milan Online Sale Part II

Highlighting this sale is Mimmo Rotella’s Quasi archeologico, (1955, estimate: €40,000-60,000, illustrated above right, page 1). Rotella was an Italian artist and an important part of the post-war artistic landscape in Europe. This work was executed in 1955, a transition year for Rotella’s artistic practice, as he moved slowly from the medium of retro d’affiche to décollage. Mario Sironi’s Ciclista, (c.1920 estimate: €3,000-5,000, illustrated bottom left, page 2) was formerly in the collection of Marcello Mastroianni, an academy award nominated Italian actor. This composition is a very rare work on paper from the 1920s, depicting an iconic modernist motif.

Coming from one of the most important Turinese art collections of the 1980’s is Franz West’s Senza titolo, (1991, estimate: €30,000-40,0000, illustrated bottom right, page 2). Franz West was an Austrian artist, best known for his sculptures and furniture. In 2011, he was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale. 

A selection of artworks from the sales will be on view in Turin, 17–18 May from 10am - 7pm at Ersel, Piazza Solferino 11, and in Milan from 23–29 May, 10am - 7pm at Palazzo Clerici.  

About Christie’s

Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business. Renowned and trusted for its expert live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales, Christie’s offers a full portfolio of global services to its clients, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s has a physical presence in 46 countries, throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, with flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. It also is the only international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China (Shanghai).

Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $200 to over $100 million. In recent years, Christie’s has achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction (Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvador Mundi, 2017), for a 20th century artwork (Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, 2022) and for a work by a living artist (Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, 2019). Christie's is also recognised as a reference for prestigious single owner collections, having auctioned 8 of the 10 most important collections in history.

Christie’s Private Sales offers a seamless service for buying and selling art, jewellery and watches outside of the auction calendar, working exclusively with Christie’s specialists at a client’s individual pace.

Recent innovations at Christie’s include the groundbreaking sale of the first NFT for a digital work of art ever offered at a major auction house (Beeple’s Everydays, March 2021), with the unprecedented acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of payment. As an industry leader in digital innovation, Christie’s also continues to pioneer new technologies that are redefining the business of art, including use of hologram technology to tour life-size 3D objects around the world, and the the creation of viewing and bidding experiences that integrate augmented reality, global livestreaming, buy-now channels, and hybrid sales formats. 

Christie’s is dedicated to advancing responsible culture throughout its business and communities worldwide, including achieving sustainability through net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and actively using its platform in the art world to amplify under-represented voices and support positive change.

Browse, bid, discover, and join us for the best of art and luxury at: www.christies.com or by downloading Christie’s apps. The COVID-related re-opening status of our global locations is available here.