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Piero Manzoni (1933-1963)
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Piero Manzoni (1933-1963)


Piero Manzoni (1933-1963)
signed, dedicated and dated 'A PAUL con amicizia PIERO MANZONI '58' (on the stretcher)
kaolin on canvas
15¾ x 11¾in. (40 x 29.8cm.)
Executed in 1958
A gift from the artist to the previous owner, Paul Francis Costelo, Milan.
G. Celant, Piero Manzoni Catalogo generale, vol. II, Milan 2004, no. 237, p. 428 (illustrated in colour, p. 67).
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VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium

Lot Essay

"I find it impossible to understand the artist who rigidly establishes the limits of a surface on which he arranges forms and colours in exact relationships and severe equilibrium. Why should one worry about how to arrange a line in space? Composed form, forms in space, spatial depth, all these problems are remote. A long line stretching to infinity can only be drawn beyond the concerns of composition and dimensions: in total space dimensions do not exist. Problems concerning colour and chromatic relationships (even if only the modulation of tone) are also redundant. All we can spread out is one single colour, or rather stretch out a single uninterrupted and continuous surface (from which the intervention of anything superfluous or any possible interpretation is excluded). It is not a question of "painting" blue on blue or white on white (either in the sense of composition or of self-expression). It's exactly the opposite: the question as far as I'm concerned is that of rendering a surface completly white (integrally colourless and neutral) far beyond any pictorial phenomenon or any intervention extraneous to the value of the surface. A white that is not a polar landscape, not a material in evolution or a beautiful material, not a sensation or a symbol or anything else: just a white surface that is simply a white surface and nothing else (a colourless surface that is just a colourless surface). Better than that: a surface that simply is: to be (to be complete and become pure)" (Manzoni quoted in G. Celant (ed.), Piero Manzoni, exh. cat., London 1998, p. 131).

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