Mario Ceroli - The Great Wonderful: 100 Years of Italian Art New York Wednesday, May 13, 2015 | Phillips

Create your first list.

Select an existing list or create a new list to share and manage lots you follow.

  • Provenance

    Private Collection, Rome

  • Catalogue Essay

    Wood, as a material of tactile and mystical import, and shape, as physical materialization of space and intellectual conceit, are coupled in a most particular and specific fashion in the art of Mario Ceroli such as to comment upon the very essence of reality. His sculptures are about the layers that build up an image, i.e. the interaction of the three-dimensional with the fourth, time. In Mobili nella Valle, furniture in the valley, Ceroli quotes Giorgio de Chirico’s painting with the same title from 1927, a metaphysical work where the furniture become at the same time spatial and personable characters. Using raw wood, Ceroli creates both a theatrical set and a ghostly atmosphere. The work from 1964 is an essential piece in the artist’s oeuvre. In Eastern philosophy and culture, wood is one of the five fundamental elements in the universe. Using wood is a way for Ceroli to connect his work to the wholeness of life. This approach places him ahead of the generation that would bloom with the Arte Povera movement only three years later. Many of the elements and subjects used by Ceroli, who studied with Leonardi Leoncillo (lot 44) and Ettore Colla (lot 8) two other seminal figures for the Italian art of the 1960s, will reappear in several works that will develop their language later on in Rome, Turin or Milan. With its three elements Mobili nella Valle is like a monument to the idea of sculpture and at the same time a drawing in three dimensions where the thickness of the wood and its layers create a chiaroscuro that adds the feeling of passing time and light into the art.


Mobili nella Valle

Siberian pine
84 1/4 x 66 7/8 x 55 1/8 in. (214 x 170 x 140 cm)

$400,000 - 600,000 

Contact Specialist
Brittany Lopez Slater
Head of International Exhibitions
New York
+1 212 940 1299

Carolina Lanfranchi
+39 338 924 1720

The Great Wonderful: 100 Years of Italian Art

New York 13 May 2015 4pm