One of the limitations on regional auction houses is the way they try to limit information to what the house feels is beneficial. The Austrian auction house Dorotheum seems to have had a very interesting and successful sale of Contemporary art last week with strong performances by artists in the very hot category of Italian abstract works.
The auction house claims it was the highest total ever in the category. But they don’t provide figures for the sales, only highlights:
Leading the sale was a work by Enrico Castellani, one of his striking and internationally acclaimed Superficie canvases, which sold for just under €1million. The winning bid of €965,000 represents a new record price for a Superficie.
Fontana was prominently represented at the auction. His “Female Bust” in particular was the centre of much attention and eventually sold at an impressive €588,533. Fontana’s small scale “Concetto Spaziale” from 1963 – 1964 found a new owner at the price of €405,600.
Fellow Italian Fausto Melotti’s sculpture “Linee“, meanwhile, sold for twice the expected sum, at €369,000. An untitled box with cut-outs and studded with nails by the ZERO-artist Günther Uecker found a buyer for €295,800, whereas Ilya Kabakov’s allusive painting “Landscape with Pioneer Camp” reached €491,000.
Another world record was set on the second night of the Contemporary Art auction: Mauro Staccioli’s steel sculpture „Ellisse“ secured a final bid of staggering €204,300, the highest price to date paid for a work by the Italian artist.