Rare Works By Fabrizio Clerici To Be Offered At Bonhams Surrealist Sale

London – A rare selection of works by the Italian artist Fabrizio Clerici (1913-1993) are to be offered in Bonhams The Mind's Eye / Surrealist Sale on Tuesday 8 March in London. Highly regarded for his eclectic and complex visual vernacular, Clerici's paintings constituted a mediation of his memory of events, locations and persons transformed by the filter of time, rendered in challengingly surreal compositions. The ensemble of works to be offered spans Clerici's artistic output, ranging from examples of works on paper of exquisite draughtsmanship, to his use of gouache for a grand diptych, and his masterful handling of oil painting. It is the first time such an overview has ever been offered in the international market. Estimates range from £8,000-£20,000.

Described as "one of the champions of the surreal realism" by Jean Cocteau, Clerici's art pioneered Surrealist and Metaphysical theories, and was influenced by his close friendships with fellow artists Salvador Dalí, Leonor Fini, and Alberto Savinio. Characteristically desolate and dystopian, the landscapes on the brink of destruction evoked in Le grand théâtre and L'isola exemplify the culmination of Clerici's ambitions as an artist experimenting with Surrealist modes. Yet Clerici was acutely conscious of the very real world in which he operated, and figures from his 1944 series, Too seen, too much felt and La grande fame, appear in a state of despair, and reflect the horrors of global bloodshed and destruction. Both works were included in a ground-breaking exhibition in New York in 1945 at the Julien Levy Gallery. These works are fine examples of Clerici's skill as a draughtsman and painter, and firmly identify his legacy in the Surrealism of Italy.

Hannah Noel-Smith, Head of UK & Europe Impressionist & Modern Art, commented: "While Clerici's works may be lesser-known than those of his famed contemporaries, we hope that the skill and confident visual dialect of these works will introduce a wider audience to the remarkable skill of this great Italian Surrealist. The visual complexity of Clerici's style so perfectly embodied in these works will certainly win him new favour in the global audience, and we hope that his skill finally receives the recognition that it certainly deserves."

Other highlights of the sale include:

Lucio Del Pezzo (1933-2020), Untitled. Estimate: £8,000-£12,000

• A selection of object-assemblages and a collage from the Belgian artist Marcel Mariën (1920-93), coming from an Important Private Italian Collection. Estimates range from £1,500-£5,000

Luigi Russolo (1885-1947), Specchio della verità (recto); Studio degli alberi (verso). Estimate: £800-£1,200

4 March

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