Wright presents an intimate yet encyclopedic collection of works by the American artist, Richard Blow at auction.
Richard Blow left an indelible mark in the history of art and, more specifically, in pietre dure, an antiquated Italian technique that he single-handedly revitalized through his Montici studio, collaborating with skilled artisans to bring modern imagery and market attention to the craft.
This extraordinary collection, compiled by Adam Edelsberg over the course of more than twenty years, was a passionate undertaking that took him across the globe in an effort to learn more about the mysterious and elusive artist.
Join us in New York for a special exhibition of From Medici to Montici: Richard Blow and the Modern Pietre Dure. All lots in the sale alongside original paintings by Richard Blow from the Collection of Bruno Lastrucci, the maestro and primary artisan of Montici whose skilled hands executed Blow's artistic visions.
17 – 24 October 2019
10 am – 6 pm Tuesday – Saturday
507 West 27th Street, New York, NY 10001
22 October 2019, 6 – 8pm
The hand is just five inches by nine, but it seems to hold a whole world—embedded as it is with the riches of the earth’s crust—and a great deal of art history, as well. It is made in pietre dure, a paradigmatic technique of the Florentine Renaissance. The black silhouette, floating on a field of cloudy red, has the eerie and inexplicable air of Surrealism. And it is so hard to place, so beguiling, that if you didn’t know better, you’d think it could have been made just yesterday.
In fact, the hand is one of hundreds of works designed by the painter Richard Blow for Montici, an extraordinary workshop that he set up in Tuscany just after World War II. From 1947 through his death in 1983, he collaborated with skilled artisans to produce some of postwar Italy’s most unusual artworks. If it is initially difficult to situate the pietre dure of Montici in time, it is equally challenging to categorize. Is this fine or decorative art? Craft or design? Modernist or revivalist? Pictures or objects?
It is made in pietre dure, a paradigmatic technique of the Florentine Renaissance.
[It] has the eerie and inexplicable air of Surrealism.
And it is so hard to place, so beguiling, that if you didn’t know better, you’d think it could have been made just yesterday.
It [the work] marks a purposeful departure from the traditional style of pietre dure, yet is a curious outlier within the history of modernism.
But of course, curiosity is just what led Blow to make his pictures in stone, and it led him to a particular kind of magic that no one had seen before, and few since...
A full-color publication featuring an essay by Glenn Adamson using primary research conducted by Adam Edelsberg and conversations with Bruno Lastrucci and Eileen McKiernan—the most comprehensive and scholarly text on the artist to be produced to date—accompanies this unprecedented sale.
From Medici to Montici
Richard Blow and the Modern Pietre Dure
For additional information
312 563 0020
Preview / New York
17 – 24 October 2019
10 am – 6 pm Tuesday –Saturday
507 West 27th Street
Auction / Chicago
24 October 2019
10 am central