NEW 006

Achille PERILLI,1927 - 2021

La rugiada del pellicano (The pelican's dew)


mixed media on canvas

100.0 × 81.0 cm

signed and dated; signed, titled and dated on the verso


$5,200 - $8,400

Good condition.
Signed and dated on the lower of the verso; signed, titled, and dated on the upper of the verso.
The artwork shows some signs of wear due to its age, but overall it is in good condition.


Sotheby's, Milan, November 26, 1991
Private Collection, Japan

Achille Perilli (1927-2021) was an avant-garde abstract artist born in Rome who went on to invigorate the Italian Post-War art movement. Having studied a degree in literature, writing a thesis on the works of the famous Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978), Perilli transitioned into art and in 1947 was a founding member of the disruptive Italian art movement known as Forma 1. The Forma 1 manifesto, which Perilli signed, declared that the movement was both formalist and Marxist. The group rejected representational depictions as dull and conformist. Instead, Forma 1 and Perilli were trying to innovate and invigorate Italy in the wake of the Second World War. The movement was successful and during the 1950s Perilli was exhibited widely across Europe.

La rugiada del pellicano (The pelican's dew) was executed in 1960, a year before Perilli won the prestigious Termoli Art Prize and Forma 1 disbanded. This painting is indicative of Perilli’s early style that is celebrated for its raw abstracted style. The muted tones and incised mark making are indicative of Italian art during the 1950s and 1960s as artists explored the relationship between art, class, poverty, destruction, and rebuilding.

Over the subsequent 20 years Perilli moves away from the naturalistic form of this early period, becoming even more abstracted and geometric. This later style is perfectly represented by Il privilegio dell'oscurita (The privilege of darkness) where rectangles create complex patterns within flat planes of vibrant color. This was likely inspired by Perilli’s work as a sculptor and architect during the 1970s. The formulation of Il privilegio dell'oscurita resembles the interplay of shapes within an architectural drawing to perhaps comment on the dynamic development of Italian cities during this period. This dedication to abstraction has led to Perilli being celebrated as a master of this genre. Prestigiously, Perilli received the “President of the Republic (Premio Presidente della Repubblica)” award in 1997.

These two works represent pivotal yet contrasting artistic styles in Perilli’s career, from naturalistic expressive abstraction to vibrant geometric formalist abstraction. Perilli was constantly evolving and invigorated Italian post-war painting, sculpture, poetry, and architecture with a unique signature style. This is a rare opportunity to acquire works from two pivotal moments in the life of a single celebrated artist.


Nicolas de STAËL


ESTIMATE:¥2,000,000 - ¥3,000,000


Il privilegio dell'oscurita (The privilege of darkness)

ESTIMATE:¥600,000 - ¥1,000,000

Christopher WOOL

Black Book

ESTIMATE:¥2,000,000 - ¥3,000,000

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