LAMA BLOG

Peter’s Auction Pick of the Day: Made In Italy

October 6, 2015

 

With major legacies in art history and fashion, it is no surprise that Italy is a leader of international design. Often Italian midcentury designers have backgrounds in art or architecture. Filtered through varied cultural histories from the Renaissance to Futurism, their results are remarkably contemporary and innovative. Here we highlight Italian pieces we love from the 1950s–1960s. Like they do in Italy, grab an espresso and read on. Ciao!

 From Peter Loughrey, Director of Modern Design & Fine Art:

 

Lot 274 Gino Sarfatti Ceiling lamp Designed 1950

Lot 274, Gino Sarfatti, Ceiling lamp, Designed 1950
October 11, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction

Sometimes I look at a piece of Italian design and think ‘only the Italians could have done that.’ So much of their postwar work is completely wild and unexpected. In this group of lots you have Gino Sarfatti, an Arteluce co-founder and master of lighting. He was making minimalist design before the term minimalism was even coined. There’s also Ico Parisi, a prolific midcentury furniture designer and friend of Gio Ponti. This wonderful console  features a tabletop with unusual notched edges, and slender legs shaped like javelins.

 

Lot 275 Ico Parisi Console table Designed c. 1952

Lot 275, Ico Parisi, Console table, Designed c. 1952
October 11, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction

And then there are pieces by Aldo Tura. An experimental designer, his fanciful pieces defy description. They remind me of the collaborations by Ponti and Piero Fornasetti together in the early fifties, combining the antique and the contemporary, with touches of Venetian green. If you take the Tura bar cart and strip away the hardware and its Rococo details–the handles, the wheels, and the gilt gallery on the top–you find a modernist structure. Such a piece of furniture shouldn’t be possible. I think the Italians took the received rules as a challenge. They thought: ‘What’s better than doing something that everyone tells you you’re not supposed to do?’ What you make is even more avant-garde. It’s shocking.

Lot 276 Aldo Tura Bar cart Designed c. 1950-1960s

Lot 276, Aldo Tura, Bar cart, Designed c. 1950-1960s
October 11, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction


Achille Perilli
(b. 1927) was a pioneer of abstract art in Italy. As a young painter, he helped found Gruppo Arte Sociale (Social Art Group) to focus on abstraction. Determined to bring back form as an artistic concern, Perilli helped compose the Forma 1 manifesto (published in the magazine of the same name) in 1947. These artists adhered to the ideals of form and abstraction above all else, and were influenced by constructivism and concrete art as well.

Perilli exhibited in Italy and internationally widely; he is a mainstay in Italian postwar painting. He is known for dynamic cubist canvases of fragmented shapes and color fields, which are almost optical illusions or visual games with changing perspectives, multi-faceted and multi-dimensional. Perilli was included in what is considered to be the first exhibition of exclusively Italian abstract art: Abstract and Concrete Art in Italy (1951), at the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome. The painting Lo Scopo Della Vita (1962) was included in the national exhibition the XIV Mostra Nazionale Premio Del Fiorino in Florence in 1963 and bears a Galeria Bonino, New York label.

From Peter Loughrey, Director of Modern Design & Fine Art:

We’re pleased to present a lot by Achille Perilli, a pioneer of abstract art in Italy. This painting is done in his signature style, compartmentalizing areas of the canvas. I find that Perilli is undervalued; his contemporaries are now commanding high prices. Lot 273 has everything a collector looks for–it’s an excellent work in beautiful condition–the best of its period.

Lot 273 Achille Perilli Lo Scopo Della Vita 1962

Lot 273, Achille Perilli, Lo Scopo Della Vita, 1962
October 11, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction

 

 

Lot 274
Gino Sarfatti
Ceiling lamp
Designed 1950
Arteluce
7″ x 23″ diameter
Estimate: $4,000 – $6,000

Lot 275
Ico Parisi
Console table
Designed c. 1952
Singer & Sons
Impressed “Made in Italy”
30″ x 70.75″ x 19.75″
Literature: Ico Parisi: & Architetture. F. Gualdoni, ed. 1990. 198-199.
Estimate: $10,000 – $20,000

Lot 276
Aldo Tura
Bar cart
Designed c. 1950-1960s
Tura
Beverage cooler and ice bucket retain sticker “TURA/Milano Italia”
Bar cart: 52.5″ x 31″ x 20″; Beverage cooler: 8″ x 16.5″ x 5.75″; Ice bucket: 6.75″ x 7.75″
Together with ice bucket and beverage cooler
Estimate: $4,000 – $6,000

Lot 273
Achille Perilli
Lo Scopo Della Vita
1962
Oil on canvas
Signed and dated “Perilli 62″ lower right; signed, dated, and titled verso; retains Galeria Bonino, Ltd. label verso
Canvas: 39.5″ x 32″; Frame: 41″ x 33.625”
Exhibited: “XIV Mostra Nazionale Premio Del Fiorino,” Florence, May 15-June 15, 1963
Literature: XIV Mostra Nazionale Premio Del Fiorino. Unione Fiorentina exh. cat. 1963. 129.
Estimate: $20,000 – $30,000

 

Leave a Reply

BID AND FOLLOW ON THE LAMA APP