Salvo - Modern & Contemporary Art Day Sale Hong Kong Saturday, June 1, 2024 | Phillips
  • “I feel like a mountaineer who has to look for a new face every so often, because I know the other one like the back of my hand. I have to look for something new not only in painting, but in nature and life, too.”
    — Salvo


    In Pontremoli, Salvo transports us to the very essence of the Italian landscape, a subject that held profound significance not only for the artist throughout his career, but also which is at the heart of the Italian artistic cannon. The present piece encapsulates Salvo’s adept interplay of light and shadow, colour and form that characterises his later works, suffused with his distinctive soft pastel-coloured hues. Drawing inspiration from his Sicilian heritage, the painting distils a scene from another region of Italy—specifically, the charming city of the titular Pontremoli, nestled in the fertile and picturesque landscapes of Tuscany. Here, we are greeted by the captivating, lush vista of Pontremoli's cathedral and bell tower, bathed in the warm, luminous glows of dusk, where hues of soft oranges and purples gently vie for attention. Luxuriant green hedges cup the architecture in the foreground and background, and the latter leads the eye to grassy planes leading up to faraway peaks.


    Pontremoli perfectly encapsulates Salvo's dreamlike treatment of landscape. Within the painting's stylised architecture, verdant foliage, and majestic mountain backdrop, all suffused with captivating amber tones, lies a profound conceptual depth that belies the painting’s deceptively simple appearance. Salvo's artistic voice remains distinctly his own, having drawn inspiration from the surreal landscapes of Giorgio de Chirico, the dynamic energy of Carlo Carrà, and the spatial narratives of Renaissance master Ambrogio Lorenzetti. His visual lexicon stands apart, neither wholly adhering to nor outrightly rejecting the artistic currents that surrounded him.


    Giorgio de Chirico, Great Metaphysical Interior, 1917
    Collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York
    Image: © The Museum of Modern Art, New York/Scala, Florence, Artwork: © 2024 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SIAE, Rome


    Salvatore Mangione, known as Salvo, was born in Leonforte. His earliest encounters with the Arte Povera movement and conceptual artists such as Sol LeWitt, Robert Barry, and Joseph Kosuth shaped his profound understanding of artistic philosophy, which would in turn continue to inform his entire oeuvre. In the late seventies, Salvo's artistic trajectory took a turn as he embraced painting with a newfound passion, seamlessly weaving avant-garde concepts into his expressive style. The creation of Pontremoli and other such works within the period 1980 to 2011 marked a further refinement of his painterly language, resulting in landscapes exemplifying his vibrant contemplation and brushwork. Salvo's signature use of hyper-saturated colours and gracefully curved shapes defied the prevailing aesthetic sensibilities of the eighties, and remain instantly recognisable. The artist's landscapes transcend mere representation, offering nuanced yet timeless explorations of place and time, where often imagined spaces acquire a tangible reality akin to physical locations, filled with an enchanting and mystical anachronism.    

    • Provenance

      Private Collection
      Duran Auctions, Madrid, 28 June 2023, lot 260
      Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

    • Literature

      Hatje Cantz Verlag, Salvo, Ostfildern, 1994, p. 131 (illustrated)



signed, titled and dated '"Pontremoli" Salvo 93' on the reverse
oil on canvas
50 x 60 cm. (19 5/8 x 23 5/8 in.)
Painted in 1993, this work is registered in the Archivio Salvo under the number S1993-34 and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity issued by the Archivio Salvo, Turin.

Full Cataloguing

HK$400,000 - 600,000 

Sold for HK$698,500

Contact Specialist

Anastasia Salnikoff
Associate Specialist, Head of Day Sale
+852 2318 2014

Modern & Contemporary Art Day Sale

Hong Kong Auction 1 June 2024