Auction 146A

Danese Milano & more - Italian Design from a German collection

24. September 2019 at 3:00 PM CEST


Over a period of forty years, this collection of art editions and design objects has grown It provides an almost complete overview of the designs edited by Danese from 1960 to the 1990s, with a focus on Enzo Mari, and spans an arc to the expressive design of the 1980s.

The foundation stone for the collection was laid in the first half of the 1960s - only a short time after the collectors' interest in contemporary art and design was awakened with visits to the 1958 World's Fair in Brussels and the 1959 documenta in Kassel. Their preoccupation with concrete and kinetic art led them to look at the multiples by Enzo Mari, who since the late 1950s had been intensively concerned with questions of abstract serial forms and their three-dimensional perception in space. Limited works such as the sculpture 'Quattro spirali' (1958/68), the kinetic object 'Composizione autocondotta' (1959) as well as the series of balls, cylinders and cubes made of synthetic resin 'Deformazione ottico dinamica' (1959-63) illustrate Mari's innovative understanding of art and the many facets in the pictorial implementation of his ideas.

**Among the early objects in the collection are Enzo Mari's bowls 'Putrelle' (cat. 7) and the fruit bowl 'Atollo' (cat. 31), which at first glance hide their possible function behind a minimalist sculptural aesthetic. Since Mari's ideas often contradicted traditional schemes of industrial design, he often felt compelled to develop the technical prerequisites for industrial production in series. With the fruit bowl 'Atollo', the challenge was to bring the perforated PVC into the desired shape. This was achieved by introducing an additional rubber mat when heating the material above the wooden model. Designs from the 1980s, which Enzo Mari supplied for Zani & Zani, show his decades-long quest to find an ideal functional and formal solution for every type of utility object.

With great enthusiasm, the collectors followed the progress of Italian design production in the 1970s and 1980s and secured some expressive ceramic objects from limited editions by Matteo Thun for Memphis and by Marcello Panza for Anthologie Quartett. In times of social and political upheaval, the designers reacted with a counter-programme to the functionalism of the past - bright colours, wild patterns and unconventional combinations of forms lead to a new decorative opulence.

Quittenbaum Art Auctions is pleased about a sales quota of 90%.

Numerous bidders in the room, on the phones and on the online platforms fought for the rare on the market art editions by Enzo Mari. The 'Sedici Variazioni' and 'Alternato Ambiguo' multiples, which were produced in 1965-68, each in a limited edition of 50 pieces, received hammer prices of € 2,700 and € 2,200.

Particularly popular were the two porcelain vases from the series Samos. 'Model W' climbed to € 5,000, while for 'Model V' the hammer fell at € 5,400. The fruit baskets 'Adal' and 'Atollo' made of black PVC also achieved top prices. 'Adal' was sold for € 1,800 and 'Atollo' was sold for € 2,300 to a German collection.

The PVC vases Bambù and 'Trifoglio', inspired by botanical and architectural motifs, all managed to double their estimated prices.

We look forward to receiving consignments for this coveted collectors theme. Contact: