Colin Gleadell has a detailed report on all the action in the Italian market last week in London. The combination of several galleries featuring Italian artists, the growing importance of Castellani on the market and Fontana’s continuing power culminated in record sales at the auctions. But a big part of the story is the dealers: Cardi, Nahmad, Mugrabi and Ben Brown. All are taking stakes in the market:
No Italian sales report would be complete without mention of the latest phenomenon. Paolo Scheggi, who died in 1971 at just 31 years of age, is an artist that few market watchers had spotted until last October, when one of his three-canvas-deep cut-out constructed works sold for £218,000 against a £20,000 estimate in London. Before last week’s auctions, London dealers Robilant + Voena exhibited Scheggi works at their gallery and at the Pavilion of Art & Design fair in London, where they made several sales in the £200,000–500,000 range.
At the auctions, four works by Scheggi were all sold, most at double the estimates. The top price was £422,500, or $677,563, bid over the phone at Sotheby’s against competition from Cardi and Jude Hess for Intersuperficie Blu – Opera 6 (1965). Significantly, another Scheggi in the sale, Intersuperficie Bianca (1964), which sold for double its estimate at £386,500, or $619,830, was underbid by Mugrabi, stalking the territory.
Strong Sales in London for Italian Postwar Market (artnet News)