Home Entertainment Still life by Morandi sold for 3.4 million: a record for an Italian work

Still life by Morandi sold for 3.4 million: a record for an Italian work

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Still life by Morandi sold for 3.4 million: a record for an Italian work

The «Contemporary Art Evening Auction of Sotheby’s» in Milan, which was held on the evening of Wednesday 23 November, exceeded the pre-auction estimates and totaled 14.3 million euros. The top lot was a «Natura Morta» by Giorgio Morandi, executed in 1959, which was sold for 3.4 million, tripling its maximum estimate: this is the highest value ever achieved in Italy for a work of art Contemporary. To win this masterpiece, the most exciting battle of the evening took place between two telephones on lot no. 16, precisely a splendid “Still Life” from 1959 by Giorgio Morandi. More than fifteen minutes of bidding wiped out the low estimate of €700,000 to reach the final bid and the award of €3,423,000, thus updating the Italian auction record for the Bolognese artist.

Three works by Alighiero Boetti, each belonging to a fundamental series of his artistic production and created over two decades, have exceeded their maximum pre-auction estimates. The group was led by «Colonna», a key work by the artist sold for 1.7 million euros to an online buyer. Two other works were sold respectively for 302,400 euros («Damned privileges») and 73,080 euros («Bending and Explaining»).

The sale came one week after Boetti’s auction record for the monumental «Mappa» sold for 8.5 million euros ($8.8 million) at Sotheby’s in New York. Lucio Fontana, with 1962’s Concetto Spaziale, New York, doubled his estimate and was sold for 1.2 million, almost double the estimate. «Spatial concept with bright pink gash» was sold for 756,000 euros. With the same title, but made with inks, a rare work on canvas fetched 441,000 euros. A new auction record was set by Henryk Stażewski, whose vibrant work «Relief No. 8» has more than doubled its maximum estimate to €1 million.

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Sotheby’s balance sheet
The work comes from the Salvatore Manzoni Collection in Milan. «Superficie 397», a 1961 work by Giuseppe Capogrossi, fetched 352,800 euros. Created at the peak of the artist’s career, Hans Hartung’s work «T1962-H7» fetched €340,200. With the latest Sotheby’s auction in Milan for the year 2022, the company’s annual sales in Italy reached 38.6 million euros, the highest total in the last ten years. In the six auctions held in Milan during 2022, 82% of the lots offered found a new home, while almost two thirds of those sold exceeded the highest estimates. For the first time this year, Sotheby’s organized a sale entirely dedicated to Design in Milan (in conjunction with the Salone del Mobile), which exceeded pre-auction estimates and saw a large influx of new collectors. In 2022 Sotheby’s also held its first Books and Manuscripts auction in Milan since 2018. The auction on Wednesday 23 November was the third sale of contemporary art organized by Sotheby’s this year. Filippo Lotti, managing director of Sotheby’s Italia, auctioned off 61 works which fetched a figure of 14.3 million euros, far exceeding the pre-auction estimates (est. 8.2-11.8 million euros) and totaling the highest total in recent years for a Sotheby’s auction in Italy.

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