The Italian Sale

The Italian Sale

Sale Overview

The 13th edition of The Italian Sale realised the highest ever total for Italian Post-War art, outstripping the previous record for 20th century art by £8 million and setting four world records. The top lot was Alberto Burri’s Sacco at £2,994,500 / $4,836,118 / €3,533,510, a masterpiece of Italian 20th century art and an icon of Arte Povera. Burri will have a retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum in 2015. The sale’s top prices were dominated by important works from key figures including Lucio Fontana (£1,986,500 / $3,208,198 / €2,344,070, the highest price of the six works offered from the artist’s Concetto spaziale, Attesa series) and Alighiero Boetti (Mappa, 1991–1994, £1,594,500 / $2,575,118 / €1,881,510). Pino Pascali’s iconoclastic Muro di pietra (Pietra pietra) Wall of stone (Stone stone) sold for a world record price of £1,650,500 / $2,665,588 / €1,947,590. A vast 3-metre-long, 2-metre-high wall-like structure made of rectangular sponge blocks each bearing the stenciled misnomer ‘Pietra’ (Stone), this work explodes the traditional boundaries between painting, sculpture, language, theatre and environment. Executed in 1964, it is one of a pioneering series of semi-theatrical ‘object-sculptures’ that Pascali exhibited together at his first one-man show at the Galleria La Tartaruga, in Rome in 1965. In addition to the record for Pascali, Christie’s made record prices for works by Paolo Scheggi, Marina Apollonio and Mario Schifano.

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