Lot Content

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
Piero Manzoni (1933-1963)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Piero Manzoni (1933-1963)


Piero Manzoni (1933-1963)
canvas in square and kaolin
39.3/8 x 27.5/8in. (100 x 70cm.)
Executed in 1958-1959
Manzoni Collection.
Galleria Blu, Milan.
Galleria d’Arte Rizziero, Teramo.
Galerie Karsten Greve, Cologne.
Studio Casoli, Milan.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
R. Pincus-Witten, “Ryman, Marden, Manzoni: Theory, Sensibility, Mediation”, in Artforum, n. 10, New York, June 1972, (illustrated, p. 51).
G. Celant, Piero Manzoni Catalogo generale, Milan 1975, no. 13 cq (illustrated, with incorrect dimensions, p. 110).
F. Battino & L. Palazzoli, Piero Manzoni Catalogue raisonné, Milan 1991, no. 508 BM (illustrated, p. 313).
G. Celant, Piero Manzoni Catalogo generale, vol. II, Milan 2004, no. 301 (illustrated, p. 439).
New York, Sonnabend Gallery, Piero Manzoni, 1972, no. 3 (illustrated, p. 49). This exhibition later travelled to Houston, Contemporary Arts Museum.
Rome, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, X Quadriennale nazionale d’Arte. 2 – Situazione dell’arte non figurativa dell’arte dal 1930 al 1965, 1973 (illustrated, p. 221).
London, The Tate Gallery, Piero Manzoni. Paintings, reliefs & objects, 1974, no. 11 (illustrated, p. 26).
Cologne, Galerie Karsten Greve, Piero Manzoni, 1991 (illustrated in colour, p. 33). This exhibition later travelled to Paris, Galerie Karsten Greve.
Special Notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

Brought to you by

Alessandro Diotallevi
Alessandro Diotallevi

Lot Essay

This is the first Manzoni to come into the house: a new and important conquest for our perception of art, for our "growth" in our way of confronting ourselves and conversing with the work. Fontana had already opened the way in our minds, so it was not difficult to engage with Manzoni's work, on the contrary, it seemed to be an obligatory step, which could reveal to us a new universe outside and inside ourselves.
I certainly can't begin to talk about Manzoni's art, I have a certain sense of shame when confronted by his extraordinary greatness. I can only say why we chose this "achrome". It is one of the most pure, most essential, of its kind: kaolin on squared canvas.
The triumph and the absolutism of the material, the one sought by the artist: the material "is", the painting "is". Nothing else, if not this lucid awareness of the self-determination of the material. The achrome emanates a sense of deep faith, almost religiosity, because there is enormous courage in a work of this kind: there is nothing that can captivate your sensibility, your imagination. There is only the life, seemingly inert, of the material isolated by the artist, so that it may assume its final, autonomous form in the drying process. But there is a will behind it, a subjective world, that wants to acquire new horizons, wants to break with the experiences of the past, wants to come beyond the surface, that is to say before the canvas, before the artist himself, to make space for the "object" par excellence: the material. And to give it a sense of sacredness, which we detect and attribute to its creator.
Versatile and unpredictable, Manzoni had many surprises in store for us, inside the collection and out. We owe him a great deal: also the present approach towards young artists.

More from Eyes Wide Open: An Italian Vision

View All
View All