Phillips, De Pury & Luxembourg /May 21, 2012
€30,480.84 - €45,721.25
Artworks in Arcadja29
Some works of Alfredo VolpiExtracted between 29 works in the catalog of Arcadja
Auction: Christie's -Nov 19, 2013 - New YorkLot number: 45
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Alfredo Volpi (Brazilian 1896-1988) Fachada (No. 1342) signed 'A Volpi' (on the reverse) tempera on canvas 23¼ x 23¼ in. (59.1 x 59.1 cm.) Painted circa 1970. Galeria de Arte Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro. Acquired from the above. FROM THE COLLECTION OF DR. LUIZ BETHOVEN DO AMARAL CD-ROM, O. Tavares de Araújo, Alfredo Volpi: Vida e obra, São Paulo, Logos Engenharia S.A/APK/Sociedade para Catalogação de Obra de Alfredo Volpi, 1997, no. 1342. The son of working-class Italian immigrants, Volpi trained as a bookbinder and painter-decorator before finding success as an artist. Self-taught, he worked through the 1930s in the company of São Paulo's Grupo Santa Helena, a loose affiliation of modern-minded artists whose paintings emphasized proletarian themes treated with a subdued, pictorial realism. His work began to shed its figurative elements by the mid-1940s as it entered into dialogue with São Paulo's emerging concretistas, for whom his clean geometries and use of primary colors formed a suggestive point of departure. In his paradigmatic paintings of the following decades, Volpi cultivated an intuitive and idiosyncratic practice within the rubric of "geometria sensível," transforming everyday motifs--façades, flags, arches, sails--into simplified geometric shapes. "His synthetic style, pared down almost to a mere outline of real life . . . is transubstantiated into the abstract and foregrounds the function of paint in his themes," critic José Geraldo Vieira wrote at the time of the II São Paulo Bienal (1953-54). "[His] solutions are not formulas but constructivist rhythms, visual associations, at all times distilled to an essence, spare and dialectical." Volpi's first façades date to the late 1940s, but the series crystallized over the 1950s as he explored myriad iterations of the modular grid through different permutations of color. In these works, he distilled ready-made, architectural shapes--doors, windows, and the iconic feast flags--into all-over abstractions. The present Fachada, likely dating from the late 1960s to the mid-1970s, displays the chromatic complexity characteristic of this period. "These late façades come forth as the most colorful in his entire production," curator Olívio Tavares de Araújo has noted. "All hues taken into account, the façades may boast even sixteen colors so closely integrated that, at first sight, the viewer does not realize that actually there are more than six or eight colors." Here, Volpi draws upon the luminous materiality of his medium, traditional egg tempera, to probe subtle harmonies of color: taupe warms to mauve and amaranth, each quadrant testing the range of tonal values through chromatic contrast (green, black, orange) and consonance. Abby McEwen, Assistant Professor, University of Maryland, College Park 1) José Geraldo Vieira, quoted in Olívio Tavares de Araújo, Volpi: a música da cor (São Paulo: Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo, 2006), 266. 2) Tavares de Araújo, Volpi: a música da cor, 262.
Auction: Christie's -May 29, 2013 - New YorkLot number: 69
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Lot Description Alfredo Volpi (Brazilian 1896-1988) Fachada (No. 1331) signed 'A. Volpi' (on the reverse) tempera on canvas 42¾ x 28¼ in. (108.6 x 72.7 cm.) Painted circa late 1960s. Provenance Petite Galerie, Rio de Janeiro. Acquired from the above (1967). Pre-Lot Text FROM THE COLLECTION OF DR. LUIZ BETHOVEN DO AMARAL Literature CD-ROM, O. Tavares de Araújo, Alfredo Volpi: Vida e obra, São Paulo, Logos Engenharia S.A/APK/Sociedade para Catalogação de Obra de Alfredo Volpi, 1997, no. 1331. View Lot Notes > Italian-born Alfredo Volpi moved to São Paulo in 1898 and became one of the leading Brazilian modernist painters, despite the fact that he was self-taught and was never actually naturalized as a Brazilian citizen. Volpi began his artistic career as a young boy in 1914, first as a decorative painter, working on houses and building façades, and only later during the 1930s as a participant in the Grupo Santa Helena (or Santa Helena Group) of painters, where he was one of several prominent artists of Italian origin. During the 1940s, he frequently visited Itanhaém, a scenic colonial town located on the São Paulo coast where he indulged his passion for Brazil's colonial art, producing numerous works with folkloric and religious themes. His first exhibit at the age of 48 was in Galeria Itá in São Paulo in 1944, and Mario Schenberg's text accompanying the works described Volpi as in search of a Matissean purity of color. Volpi would later confirm this search stating, "For me there is only color" The exhibit was a huge success and the paintings sold out. It was during the same year that Volpi gave up oil paint adapting instead tempera paint whose opacity became a hallmark for his most well known work. In 1950 he first traveled to Europe to participate in the 25th Venice Biennial and spent time in Italy, where he was captivated by Giotto frescos from the 14th century. It is only after his return from Europe that Volpi gradually moved toward abstraction in a series of naïf compositions that straddle the figurative and the abstract. It was through his depictions of façades and banners that Volpi began to experiment with a different spatial organization of the canvas, one that was in line with the reigning constructivist tendencies. In 1953 he won the Best National Painter award (he shared this prize with fellow painter Emiliano di Cavalcanti) at the 2nd São Paulo Biennial. He was later invited to exhibit at the First National Exhibit of Concrete Art in 1956. The 1960s are generally considered to be his most fruitful decade. Fachada is an exemplary work from this time, depicting the thematic, technical, and chromatic variations that are immediately recognizable as Volpian. Rather than represent a façade, the artist breaks it down into its essential modular parts, prioritizing a composition that relies on the playful repetition and interaction of forms and colors. His signature treatment of tempera on canvas, make visible the layered brushstrokes, declaring the presence of the artist's hand against the dominance of an industrial and mechanical aesthetic often favored by other concrete artists. Elena Shtromberg, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Art and Art History, University of Utah 1 Vanda Mangia Klabin, Seis perguntas sobre Volpi (São Paulo: Instituto Moreira Salles, 2009), 10.
Auction: Christie's -May 22, 2012 - New YorkLot number: 68
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Lot Description Alfredo Volpi (Brazilian 1896-1988) Bandeirinhas com mastros e fita signed 'A. Volpi' (on the reverse) tempera on canvas 28¼ x 41 in. (71.7 x 104.1 cm.) Painted circa 1968. Provenance Acquired directly from the artist, São Paulo (circa 1968). Pre-Lot Text PROPERTY FROM A NEW ENGLAND COLLECTOR View Lot Notes › Alfredo Volpi was born in Lucca, Italy, and arrived with his parents in São Paulo as an infant. There, he grew up in the working class neighborhood of Cambuci and started painting in his teens. From a working-class background and self-taught, Volpi was not part of the avant-garde movements that emerged in São Paulo in the 1920s, most notably after the 1922 Semana de arte moderna, and led by members of the city's intellectual elite --Mario de Andrade, Oswald de Andrade, Sérgio Milliet, Tarsila do Amaral, Anita Malfatti, Emiliano Di Cavalcanti, Lasar Segall, and Heitor Villa-Lobos, among others--even though he was aware of their activities and exhibitions, and attended Marinetti's lecture in São Paulo in 1926. Instead, after having exhibited in group shows but supporting himself as an interior decorator and craftsman, he joined the Grupo Santa Helena, a spontaneously formed association of artists from immigrant and proletarian backgrounds that had begun to meet during the mid 1930s in the Santa Helena building, in downtown São Paulo, where they rented rooms to use as studios. They progressively gained visibility and started exhibiting their work in different venues and exhibitions, such as the 1937 Família Artística Paulista where the work of some of the Santa Helena members, including that of Alfredo Volpi, was shown alongside that of artists belonging to the elite avant-garde movements. As a result, they attracted the attention of members of the aforementioned avant-garde such as Sérgio Milliet and Mário de Andrade, who were specifically interested in their proletarian origins and the role that this background played in the formulation of their art. Like many in the group, Volpi favored themes such as marine landscapes and popular street festivities in rural and working class neighborhoods, the color flags, bandeirinhas, that adorned these street fairs would later become a leit motif in his work, the form of which would become a constant in his abstract paintings. Volpi had his first solo show at the Galeria Itá in São Paulo in 1944, and in 1950 he travelled to Italy where he had the chance to study the medieval and Renaissance painters who had been his life-long influences, Giotto in particular. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, he was in dialogue with younger artists working in the direction of geometric abstraction and Concrete art such as Waldemar Cordeiro of the Ruptura group; Willys de Castro; Hércules Barsotti; Decio Pignatari, and the brothers Augusto and Haroldo de Campos of the Noigandres group; as well as the critic Mario Pedrosa who was his contemporary. The 1968 work Bandeirinhas com mastros e fita features his trademark flag motif in a dynamic composition in which the combination of different and vibrating colors organized in rhomboid and square shapes recall the movement of a flag in the wind. Aside from the bandeirinha the artist introduces the mast and the banner, suggested by a structure of color and form, that rhythmically punctuates the work. Volpi was a remarkable colorist, and color was both a structural element and organizing principle in his compositions. He favored the use of tempera over other types of paint, perhaps in reference to his medieval influences, but also to attain a tonal effect that is emblematic of his work and unique style. Julieta González, independent curator
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
24 BRAZILIAN ALFREDO VOLPI Fachada, 1950 tempera on canvas 9 1/2 x 13 in. (24.1 x 33 cm) Signed "A. Volpi" on the reverse. ESTIMATE $40,000-60,000 PROVENANCE Private collection, Sao Paulo Conditions of Sale The property is being sold as a collector’’’’s item to be displayed only. It has been partially deconstructed and therefore its physical integrity may be compromised. It is not intended for road use and is not being sold as a means of transportation. Certificate of Title A certificate of title may be necessary in order for the purchaser to acquire marketable title to the property and would be required if the property were to be used as a motor vehicle within the United States of America. Phillips makes no warranties or representations in connection with any existing vehicle regulation or certificate of title or with the issuance of any new certificate of title by any state of the United States or any foreign government. The purchaser of any property who intends to use such property on the road is solely responsible for complying with all applicable Federal and state regulations regarding title, registration, insurance, licensing, emission control, safety equipment and roadworthiness. Please contact a specialist for more information. Extent of Phillips' Liability Neither the seller nor we, nor any of our officers, employees or agents, are responsible for the correctness of any statement of whatever kind concerning any lot, whether written or oral, nor for any other errors or omissions in the description of, or for any faults or defects in, any lot. Neither the seller, ourselves, our officers, employees or agents, give any representation, warranty or guarantee or assume any liability of any kind in respect of any lot with regard to merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, description, size, quality, condition, genuineness, rarity, importance, provenance, or historical relevance. Phillips has to rely on information as to date, condition and authenticity provided by the seller, and cannot undertake a level of inspection of the vehicle to establish whether or not the vehicle corresponds to any relative description of condition in the catalogue. It is the responsibility of the purchaser to carry out such inspection as the purchaser thinks necessary. Phillips is not liable for any loss caused by a misdescription or misrepresentation. Except as required by local law, any warranty of any kind whatsoever is excluded by this paragraph. In any case, the purchaser’’’’s sole remedy with respect to any purchase shall be a refund of the purchase price paid upon the return of the lot in the same condition as at the time of the sale. No Warranty All property is sold “as is” and neither Phillips nor the consignor makes any explicit or implied warranty or representations of any kind or nature with respect to the property. In no event shall Phillips or the consignor be responsible for the correctness of, or be deemed to have made, any representations or warranty of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, description, size, quality, genuineness, rarity, importance, provenance, historical relevance or condition concerning the property or any warranty that any lot complies with any applicable Federal or state laws, regulations or ordinances of any kind or nature whatsoever, and no statement set forth in this catalogue or made at the sale or in the bill of sale or invoice or elsewhere, whether oral or written, shall be deemed such a warranty or representation or an assumption of liability. The property is being sold as a collector’’’’s item to be displayed only. It has been partially deconstructed and therefore its physical integrity may be compromised. It is not intended for road use and is not being sold as a means of transportation. No warranties are or will be made that any of the property is roadworthy or complies with any applicable governmental rules, regulations or ordinances of any kind or nature whatsoever. The benefits of these Conditions of Sale are not assignable and shall be applicable only to the original purchaser of the lots and not subsequent assigns, purchasers, heirs, owners or others who have or may acquire an interest in the purchased lot. Prospective purchasers should carefully inspect the property before bidding in order to identify any issues relating to condition or description that may have not been described in the catalogue, including repairs and restorations. Phillips makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of “mileage” or odometer readings. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the purchaser’’’’s role and exclusive remedy against Phillips and the seller, in place of any other remedy which might be available, is the cancellation of the sale and the refund of the original purchase price paid for the lot. Neither Phillips nor the seller will be liable for any special, incidental or consequential damages including, without limitation, loss of profits, nor for interest. Place Bid Bidding Method In Person Absentee Phone Contact Specialist Request Condition Report Receive Email alerts View catalogue Annual subscriptions
Auction: Christie's -Nov 15, 2011 - New YorkLot number: 63
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Lot Description Alfredo Volpi (Brazilian 1896-1988) Bandeirinhas estruturadas signed 'A Volpi' (on the reverse) tempera on canvas 55½ x 28 3/8 in. (141 x 72 cm.) Painted circa 1966. Saleroom Notice Please note the work is signed on the reverse. Pre-Lot Text PROPERTY FROM THE OLIVETTI LATIN AMERICAN COLLECTION Literature Exhibition catalogue, Os artistas a e Olivetti, São Paulo, Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Assis Chateaubriand, 1976, no. 168 (illustrated in color). CD-ROM, O. Tavares de Araújo, Alfredo Volpi: Vida e obra, São Paulo, Logos Engenharia S.A/APK/Sociedade para Catalogação de Obra de Alfredo Volpi, 1997, no. 2035. Exhibited São Paulo, Museu de Arte de São Paulo, O artista e a máquina, Assis Chateaubriand, October 1966. São Paulo, Museu de Arte de São Paulo, O artistas e a Olivetti, Assis Chateaubriand, April- May 1976. View Lot Notes › "Volpi paints volpis," Willys de Castro used to say simply and admiringly of his friend, an artist whose career creatively discoursed with Brazil's avant-garde movements of the 1950s and 1960s but who remained singularly, and authentically, true to his popular roots. The son of working-class Italian immigrants, Volpi trained as a bookbinder and painter-decorator before embarking on a career as an artist. Self-taught, he worked through the 1930s in the company of São Paulo's Grupo Santa Helena, a loose affiliation of modern-minded artists whose paintings emphasized proletarian themes treated with a subdued, pictorial realism. His work began to shed its figurative elements by the mid-1940s, entering into new dialogue with São Paulo's concretistas, led by Waldemar Cordeiro, whose constructivist geometries found a suggestive point of departure in Volpi's compositional simplicity and use of primary colors. In his classic paintings from the next two decades, Volpi cultivated an intuitive and idiosyncratic abstraction in which he transformed everyday motifs --facades, flags, arches, sails-- into schematic and essential geometries. His practice both anticipated and coexisted with the Neo-Concrete movement of the 1960s, and his iconic abstractions rank among the landmarks of modern Brazilian art. As curator Olívio Tavares de Araújo has remarked, Volpi's work "is born figurative, becomes abstract, again figurative, but this time passing on to conceive the same figuration in another way." His signature flags, as in the present Bandeirinhas estructuradas, epitomize this formal evolution: starting with a popular, ubiquitous motif, he transforms it, mutatis mutandis, into a stylized abstraction in which the component parts participate in an all-over geometric pattern. The lingering evocation of the original forms nods to their pre-history--signally, as the handmade paper decorations traditionally strung during the annual Festa de São João. Yet Volpi reimagines the colorful feast flags as a modular, modern grid, in which the pentagonal flags are visually balanced, as for example in the present work, by rows of serial triangles that challenge the distinctions between positive and negative space. Removed from nationalist and sentimental clich, his abstracted flags project modernist values of color and form, elegantly calibrated in the purity and reductive essence of his mature oeuvre. A superb colorist, Volpi achieved a profuse quality of space and tone through his use of the traditional egg tempera technique, in which he allowed the brushstrokes to remain clearly visible on the canvas. "Here the brushwork brings materiality to the surface," Lucrecia Zappi has observed. "Rather than exploring color as an optical phenomenon, it stands out as a natural element. To this end, tempera becomes essential in his work, allowing the pigment to breathe. That ancient medium projects Volpi into the past, creating a continuity between the tradition of Giotto's skies and Paolo Uccello's Renaissance standards and the new spatiality of modernism." Volpi traveled to France and Italy for six months in 1950, reportedly visiting Giotto's magnificent fresco cycle at the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua eighteen times during his stay. His taste for the brilliant colors and surface decorations of medieval art is beautifully translated and distilled in Bandeirinhas estruturadas, in which the tonal grid of a richly saturated, deep blue field is inscribed with rows of black, white, and red flags. The geometry of the grid is subtly offset by the irregular color patterning and subtle tonality of his pigments, which inflect his surface with a material richness and expressiveness suggestive of a space beyond the picture plane. Abby McEwen, Assistant Professor, University of Maryland, College Park 1) Olívio Tavares de Araújo, quoted in Claudia Laudanno, "Alfredo Volpi," Art Nexus 6, no. 65 (July-September 2007): 127. 2) Lucrecia Zappi, "Alfredo Volpi: Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo," Artforum International 45, no. 2 (October 2006): 273.