Christie’s will hold a single-owner sale of Arte Povera works in London next month on February 11th:
Carefully assembled over the past 25 years by an Italian couple, this single-owner collection encompasses 109 powerful works by a vast range of celebrated artists. The title ‘Eyes Wide Open’ reflects the collectors’ intense vision – one focused on Arte Povera that also encompasses international contemporary art – and works will be presented in the catalogue as seen through the collectors’ eyes.
Eyes Wide Open: An Italian Vision, the most important private collection of Arte Povera ever to be shown in the UK, exploring the movement’s roots in the work of Post-War Italian artists Alberto Burri, Lucio Fontana, Piero Manzoni and Fausto Melotti and its flowering in the works of artists such as Michelangelo Pistoletto, Alighero Boetti, Mario Merz, Luciano Fabro, Giulio Paolini, Pino Pascali, Giuseppe Penone and Emilio Prini. Exceptionally, this collection also investigates Arte Povera’s legacy in the work of artists as diverse as Cy Twombly, Olafur Eliasson, Anish Kapoor, Tony Cragg, Rosemarie Trockel and Thomas Schütte.
Mariolina Bassetti, Chairman Christie’s Italy, International Director, Post-War & Contemporary Art:
“Following our huge success in last October’s Italian Sale, a record for any of these sales in their 15- year history, Christie’s is pleased to be offering this exceptional private collection – the best collection of Italian art I have ever seen come on the market. Never before have we seen a private collection that shows the ‘before and after’ of Arte Povera in such depth – its roots in Burri and its huge legacy to succeeding generations of artists around the world, from Cy Twombly and Anish Kapoor to Thomas Schütte and Olafur Eliasson. It has been assembled with passion and rigour by an Italian couple over 25 years. The first time I saw their collection, over twenty years ago, I was stunned by the impeccable quality of each work, from large masterpieces by some of Italy’s greatest artists to smaller, more intimate works by young artists. Each time I met the couple, I saw how the collection was the mirror of its collectors and I was deeply touched by the manner of their collecting and by the intimate harmony that existed between them. The collaborative nature of the couple’s collecting and partnership is reflected in the recurrence within the collection of many doubles and pairings, such as Michelangelo Pistoletto’s self-portrait with his companion, Lei e Lui.”