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Ettore Colla (Italian, 1896-1968) Senza Titolo [Meridiana quadrata]

Auction:
2493
Lot:
630
Sold for:
$41,475$35,000

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Auction:
American & European Works of Art - 2493
Location:
Boston
Date / Time :
January 29, 2010 12:00PM

Description:

Ettore Colla (Italian, 1896-1968)

Senza Titolo [Meridiana quadrata], 1968
Unsigned, inscribed "E. COLLA" in marker beneath the base.
Iron, 28 1/2 x 20 x 8 1/2 in. (72.4 x 50.8 x 21.6 cm), on a white painted wooden plinth.
Condition: Good.

Provenance: Collection of Melvin B. Nessel, Boston, Massachusetts.

Literature: Giorgio De Marchis and Sandra Pinto, Colla, Roma: Bulzoni, 1972, no. 224 (illustrated).

Exhibitions: 24 Presenze, Artisti romani non figurativi, Roma, Istituto Italo-Latino-Americano (IILA), March 26 to April 9, 1969.

N.B. Colla's abstract work was considered by James Johnson Sweeney, the late director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, to be a contradiction in both classicism and 'primitive directness'. His works showed 'restraint and discipline' and 'dedication to order and form' but his technique and materials—which consisted of reclaiming and reconfiguring industrial materials—were handled with the 'respect a cave artist gave the casual materials of his day.' (1)

The raw innovation and balance that Sweeney spoke of can be seen in the present work, where the surfaces have been exposed to the elements, and the basic geometric forms of circle and square are repeated, rotated, and suspended in space. It was completed at the artist's home and studio at Viale Parioli, and is a larger version based on a prototype created in 1967. (2)

(1) Giorgio De Marchis and Sandra Pinto, Colla, Roma: Bulzoni, 1972, p. 9.
(2) Ibid, 106.



Estimate $30,000-40,000

Plinth measures 38 1/4 x 10 in. diameter.

Keywords

Giorgio De Marchis, Sandra Pinto, James Johnson Sweeney, Melvin B. Nessel, Massachusetts, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, director, late director, cave artist

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