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Michelangelo Pistoletto’s Ornellaia works net £240k at London auction

A collection of commemorative bottles of Ornellaia 2010 designed by Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto sold for £238,000 last night at an auction in London.

Photo: Artist Michelangelo Pistoletto addresses the Royal Opera House audience

Guests from across the worlds of wine, art and music came together for a gala dinner and auction held at London’s Royal Opera House to celebrate nine special lots designed especially for Ornellaia by Michelangelo Pistoletto.

The top-grossing lot was Pistoletto’s three-dimensional spiral-sculptured salmanazar of Ornellaia 2010 which, combined with a visit to the Ornellaia estate for six guests, sold for £80,000.

Other lots included limited-edition reflective labelled works, and multiple double magnums and imperials of Ornellaia 25th anniversary bottles of the 2010 vintage.

Pistoletto, whose work has been widely exhibited around the world, including at London’s Tate and the Guggenheim in Bilbao, is renowned for exploring the theme of reflection, and often employs the use of mirrors in his work to ‘reflect both the spectator and the surrounding environment, introducing a temporal dimension into the artwork.’

The evening, which began with an opera recital by members of the Royal Opera House’s Young Artists Programme, also marked the unveiling of Ornellaia 2010, the estate’s 25th vintage.

The auction was run by Sotheby’s, and marked the fifth occasion of Ornellaia’s Vendemmia d’Artista programme, around the theme of ‘Celebration’ and the 2010 vintage. Previous years have featured works inspired by Balance (Zhang Huan, 2009 vintage), Energy (Rebecca Horn, 2008 vintage), Harmony (Ghada Amer & Reza Farkhondeh, 2007 vintage) and Exuberance (Luigi Ontani, 2006 vintage).

Giovanni Geddes da Filicaja, CEO of Ornellaia, said that the 25th anniversary was held in London because of the special connection the estate had enjoyed with the UK market over the years.

All the proceeds from the auction were donated to the Royal Opera House foundation.

Written by John Abbott

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