Piero Manzoni


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Quote, estimate and price of the artist Piero Manzoni

Price of a painting: 20,000 – 24,000,000 €.

Price of a sculpture: 50 – 130,000 €.

Estimation of a drawing: 5,000 – 60,000 €.

Estimation of a print: 50 – 4,900 €.

If you would like to have a work by Piero Manzoni appraised,  our experts will take care of everything.

Piero Manzoni: original creations

Piero Manzoni was born in 1933 in Italy. His work has been compared to that of Yves Klein. Manzoni made Achromes (as opposed to monochrome) and worked more with matter than with colour. His canvases do not actually contain any paint. They are, in fact, crumpled then soaked in glue and calcium sulphate. Above all, Manzoni worked on desacralising art and artists and created works such as magic pedestals, collecting Artist’s Breaths in balloons or making the famous “Artist’s Shit“.

Desacralizing the art world

Manzoni founded the Arte Nucleare group alongside Enrico Baj and wrote the “Manifesto Against style” in 1957 as well as the Azimuth magazine from 1959 to 1960.

It was shortly after the exhibition of Yves Klein’s eleven blue monochromes in Milan in January 1957 that Manzoni produced his achromes, drawing less inspiration from monochrome than from the space of freedom afforded by such works. He no longer wanted to make the canvas disappear in favour of painting, but rather let it become the very essence of the work. His paintings thus embody the encounter between canvas and sculpture. The qualification of “Achrome” does not mean that Manzoni’s paintings are white, but rather that they have no colour. He later created achromes with different materials such as gravel, glass fibre, cotton and polystyrene (Achrome, gravel on canvas, 1958; Achrome, Kaolin on canvas in squares, 1957). The irony of his work is that, despite the omnipresence of non-colour, Manzoni sprinkles some of his canvases with products that change the colour by changing the level of humidity in the air. In 1959, Manzoni began to draw his Lines, ink on paper in parallel. The principle was always constant: to draw a freehand line in the centre of a sheet of paper, running the entire length, the longest having been made on a 7200-metre roll of printing paper. The artist then enclosed his lines in cylinders, sometimes with the words “contains a line of infinite length”. Even though the cylinder may be empty.

Creations with performative character

When Manzoni made his Magic pedestals in 1961, he declared that the people sitting on his pedestals automatically became works of art. He also played with the artist’s power of appropriation and the concept of signature when he put his fingerprint on an egg, which, according to him, transforms it into a work of art. But his most famous and probably one of the most controversial works of the 20th century is his series of 90 “shit boxes” (Artist’s shit/net content GR 30/preserved in its natural state/produced and tinned/made in May 1961). Nobody really knows what they contain, but the mere fact that they mention excrement is enough to make the rest of the world believe it.

Recognising Manzoni’s signature

Like many artists, Piero Manzoni did not sign all of his works. However, you will find below an example of the signatures to give you an idea. Variations of these signatures do exist, do not hesitate to contact one of our experts to formally authenticate a signature.

expertise signature manzoni

Appraising and selling a piece by Piero Manzoni

If you own a piece by Piero Manzoni or any other object, ask for a free estimate via our online form.

You will then be contacted by a member of our team of experts and auctioneers to give you an independent view of the market price of your piece. In the context of a possible sale, our specialists will also advise you on the different options available to sell your work at the best price.