Luigi Ontani - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Friday, October 12, 2007 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Studio d’Arte Raffaelli, Trento

  • Exhibited

    Rome, Palazzo delle Esposizioni di Roma, Quadriennale nazionale d’arte di Roma, July 9 – September 21, 1992; Siena, Castello di Volpaia, Luigi Ontani. BacCasco, 11 – 26 September, 1993; Cortina d’Ampezzo, Galleria Civica & Belluno, Palazzo Crepadona, Luigi Ontani. Ciliegia pinealita. Premio dell’artista dell’anno, August 6 – September 24, 2000

  • Literature

    R. Barilli, L. Durante, Luigi Ontani. Ciliegia pinealita. Premio dell’artista dell’anno, Milan, 2000, pp. 90-91; A. Galasso, Ontani. Ontan Elegia, 2004, p. 169

  • Catalogue Essay

    An imaginative and original artist, Ontani has been a seminal figure in Italy since the 1970s. Initially a child of the art povera movement, he moved away from this slightly older generation of artists as much in the variety of his mediums as in his exploration of culture and identity.

    Ontani has described his art as 'the adventure I live as a person of art'. Throughout his career, he has used diverse objects, hand-colored photographs, papier maché, ceramic sculptures, slide projections and performances to explore shifting fictional identities and neo-aestheticism.

    In his extraordinary ability of uniting past, present and future in a game continually enmeshed in myth and fairytale, eastern and western culture, between the sacred and the profane, the image and the word; Ontani changes the world with irony, widening the horizons of the stringent obligations that answer to the necessary and the conventional.

    The present lot is representative of the Italian artist’s fascination with mythology and Orientalism. The four sculptures each represent a season and are lavishly decorated in silver and gold. As is typical of the artist, they are suggestive and personified: Ibridoli II Aestas has full lips and one eye giving the impression of a wink. Similarly, Ibridoli III Autumnus depicts a wine leaf with an upward bunch of grapes. Ontani's use of artisanal wizardry in the service of narcissism, exoticism, farce and kitsch make his work unique and unusual and also seems to presage artists as diverse as Patkin and Jeff Koons.
    D. Frankel, Luigi Ontani - Sperone Westwater, Art Forum, Summer 1997



Four Sculptures covered in gold and silver leaf.
Veris (Winter) 31 1/2 x 17 1/2 in. (80 x 44.5 cm); Aestas (Spring) 28 3/8 x 29 1/2 x 40 1/2 in. (72.1 x 74.9 x 102.9 cm); Hiemis (Summer) 13 3/4 x 28 x 15 3/8 in. (34.9 x 71.1 x 39.1 cm); Autumnus (Autumn) 24 3/2 x 32 3/4 x 23 5/8 in. (62 x 83 x 60 cm).

£70,000 - 90,000 

Sold for £84,000

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

Evening Sale
13 October 2007, 4pm