Agostino Bonalumi (Italy, b. 1935)
This Lot has been sourced from overseas. When au… Read more
Agostino Bonalumi (Italy, b. 1935)

Rosso

Details
Agostino Bonalumi (Italy, b. 1935)
Rosso
signed and dated 'A Bonalumi 65' (on the reverse)
vinyl tempera on shaped canvas
104 x 98 x 27 cm. (41 x 38 5/8 x 10 5/8 in.)
Executed in 1965
Provenance
Private Collection, Italy.
Anon. sale, Sotheby's Milan, 24 November 2015, lot 35.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
Special notice

This Lot has been sourced from overseas. When auctioned, such property will remain under “bond” with the applicable import customs duties and taxes being deferred unless and until the property is brought into free circulation in the PRC. Prospective buyers are reminded that after paying for such lots in full and cleared funds, if they wish to import the lots into the PRC, they will be responsible for and will have to pay the applicable import customs duties and taxes. The rates of import customs duty and tax are based on the value of the goods and the relevant customs regulations and classifications in force at the time of import.

Lot Essay

Curving and arcing in sumptuous Ferrari red, Agostino Bonalumi’s Rosso (1965) is a beautiful example of the artist’s unmistakable series of Estroflessioni paintings—a vision of space and form both timeless and futuristic. Manipulating the surface of his canvas, Bonalumi produces gracefully rounded, abstract structures that emerge from the surface of the painting to explore the space around them; the result is a kinetic, flowing visual experience that carries the viewer around the work’s contours. Covered in a flawlessly gleaming red vinyl, a series of raised strips swell out in relief towards the bottom left corner, gently undulating towards the circular discs that bulge through the right edge, stretching the canvas into a curved column that seems to grow out from within the painting in a strangely organic, ambiguous eruption. The structure occupies the room with a classical elegance, impressively solid—and yet its shape ultimately seems to dissolve into something less real, an imprint left on another material rather than any kind of essential substance itself. Indeed, as it curves over the edge of where the edge of the canvas should be, Bonalumi seems to be calling into question the finality and resolution of the painting itself—the definition provided by a square frame has been effaced, the edge of the painting transfigured into a cylindrical shape that we can see curve out of sight, but whose end point remains cloaked in mystery.

Born in 1935, Bonalumi was at the forefront of the exceptional wave of Italian artists who followed Lucio Fontana in the late 1950s and 1960s. Influenced by Fontana’s own spatial experiments with the canvas, Bonalumi had begun working with Enrico Castellani and Piero Manzoni as early as 1958; by the mid-1960s, Bonalumi’s reputation was perhaps higher than ever before, both internationally and at home, with strong links to Germany’s Zero artists and critics in Italy already beginning to recognise his importance— in 1966, the year after he produced Rosso , the artist was invited to take part at the Venice Biennale for the first time.

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