The Modern and Contemporary Art sale closed with a total turnover of 8.3 million euros and a 235% increase on the value of sales.
The results of the first day were exemplary with 99 lots sold out of 100 and the new world record price for Enrico Baj with “Grande Spettacolo” of 1956 (lot 55) sold for €162.500.
“The perfect auction” says Freddy Battino, the Department Director “we presented an international catalogue to the market with a view of promoting and exporting Italian art abroad: we succeeded in our intention!”.
The selection of lots was appreciated in Italy, but most of all beyond the border: more than 60% of the works, in fact, were awarded to foreign buyers (United States, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Austria, Spain, Sweden, Holland, Portugal, Belgium, Luxembourg, Irland, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Hungary, Brazil, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Russia, South Africa, Indonesia).
Once again, the ceramics by Lucio Fontana are the stars: suffice it to say that “Ballerina”, “Crocifissione” and “Madonna col Bambino” totaled over 1 million euros (lots 100, 56, 17).
Signs from abroad show an inclination toward sculpture, increasingly appreciated and pursued. “Forma-Luce-Spazio” by Carmelo Cappello is the first work by this artist awarded in America, while “Colonne Printemps” by Agustín Cárdenas (lot 95) soared to €312.500 exceeding the estimate in the catalogue by more than 10 times and marking the second world price ever achieved.
Rewarded among the international artists: Victor Vasarely with “GIZEH-K” (lot 96|€300.000), Yves Klein “Untitled Blue Monochrome, (IKB 322)” (lot 87|€262.500), Ben Nicholson with “June 60 (Ti - Ti)” (lot 70|€250.000), Jean Fautrier with “Les Dominos” (lot 76|€200.000), Hans Hartung with “Untitled” (lot 74|€187.500) and “T1958-7” (lot 71|€137.500), William Scott with “Untitled” (Composition n.30)” awarded at 117.500 (lot 69), Jan Schoonhoven “R 70-14” (lot 84|€60.000) and the two William Kentridges (lots 97, 98) sold for €156.250.
“The winning strategy was that of restarting from the prices of 5 years ago for the artists subject to speculation, such as Paolo Scheggi, awarded abroad for € 150.000, the authors of Italian monochrome painting and those of Gruppo Zero”.
Excellent performance also for Concrete Art: “Weiss aus Blau und Gelb” (lot 92) by Max Bill was sold for €93.750 triplicating the estimate, while the three monochromes by Antonio Calderara (lots 89-90-91) attained more than 100 thousand euros.
Much appreciated were also the works on paper, among which stand out “Natura morta” by Giorgio Morandi (lot 24 | €102.500) and “L'uccello di fuoco” by Alberto Savinio (lot 11|€62.500).
A memorable auction with an initial total reserve of 3.5 million euros which reached the highest result ever achieved by the department.
"What is certain is that this is the moment fot Il Ponte in Milan, which declares a total of 8.3 millions (...). The auction was prepared with great care and the works showcased as in a gallery in the halls of Palazzo Crivelli certainly influenced the results."
Il Giornale dell'Arte | July-August 2019
"A turnover of € 8.337.074 and a rate of 89,4% of lots sold, with an increase in initial value of 235%. These figures summarise the record sales of 11 and 12 June, of Il Ponte auction house which concludes the first semester of 2019 with the highest results ever obtained in its history, confirming its leadership among the Italian auction houses."
"Freddy Battino is the only Modern and Contemporary Art Department Director in Italy who is able to keep pace with the two Art Multinationals. The recent sale that he curated for Il Ponte in Via Pontaccio in Milano yielded 8.3 million euros with a 235% increase on reserve prices and 60% foreign bidders (the reseves amounted to no more than 3.5 million euros)."
Milano Finanza | 22 June 2019
"Yet another success for Il Ponte's Modern and Contemporary Art Department headed by Freddy Battino. The effort to gather and select the 100 lots that went under the hammer this afternoon was a confirmation that sought-after works, of quality and with fair (if not conservative) prices, rewards. Many lots were sold above the estimates and some even spiralled high above the starting price."
Artslife | 11 June 2019
Milano Finanza | 12 January 2019