Who Is Stanislao Lepri, the Painter and Paramour of Leonor Fini? With the Surrealist Market Heating Up, He is Out of the blue Getting the Highlight

The magical world of Italian Surrealist Stanislao Lepri (1905–80) is stuffed with hybrid creatures, toppling towers, and apocalyptic eventualities that seem oddly up to date. 

The artist is the topic of a solo presentation by Milan’s Galleria Tommaso Calabro on the Impartial twentieth Century artwork honest, which opened September 8 at Casa Cipriani in New York. The brand new enterprise focuses on the neglected modernist artists and lesser-known works by masters similar to Giorgio de Chirico and Joan Miró.

Lepri, who gave up a profession in diplomacy to pursue his ardour for the Surrealist artist Leonor Fini, matches proper in. His final solo present in New York came about at Iolas Gallery in 1970. Simply 127 tons by Lepri have appeared at public sale, based on the Artnet Worth Database. The most costly one fetched $26,400 in 2007. Most have traded for lower than $10,000. 

A Stanislao Lepri present on the Impartial twentieth Century artwork honest. Photograph: Galleria Tommaso Calabro

This minimal market exercise could also be a results of Lepri’s late arrival on the Surrealist scene. He wasn’t a part of the unique motion and far of his early language is by-product of different artists, together with Fini, Max Ernst, and René Magritte, based on David Fleiss of Paris-based Galerie 1900-2000, which focuses on Surrealism and Dada. “There’s just a little little bit of everybody.”

As the brand new era of younger up to date artists has embraced Surrealism—with costs rising into the thousands and thousands of {dollars} for work comparatively recent from the studio—sellers are eager to rediscover historic work, which might value significantly much less. 

“There’s a lot worth,” stated Elizabeth Dee, the founding father of the honest.

Second-generation art-world insiders, together with Impartial exhibitors Joseph Nahmad and Alma Luxembourg, are “deeply fascinated about unearthing new materials as a result of they’re so invested in modernism,” Dee stated. “Markets are going to be moved due to the advocacy of this era.”

Stanislao Lepri, Le Créateur des anges (1969). Photograph: Katya Kazakina.

Lepri’s profession is re-emerging due to his affiliation with Fini, whose market had additionally been neglected—till just lately. As museums and collectors search to diversify their holdings, feminine modernists have risen in prominence and worth. This yr, Fini—a painter, illustrator, designer, and creator—was among the many stars of the Venice Biennale’s principal exhibition, “The Milk of Goals,” which was rooted within the Surrealist motion’s unsung feminine artists. In 2021, Fini’s 1938 self-portrait, Autoportrait au scorpio, fetched $2.3 million at public sale, nearly 4 occasions its excessive estimate of $800,000.

Fini’s sudden reputation has helped Lepri, a curious reversal of a extra widespread energy dynamic through which ladies profit from their associations with extra profitable males. Fini and Lepri grew to become lovers within the Nineteen Forties. After shifting collectively to Paris in 1946, the couple was quickly joined by a Polish author Constantin Jelenski. The trio spent the remainder of their lives collectively in a ménage à trois or, in up to date parlance, a throuple. Even in dying they’re inseparable, buried in the identical grave exterior of the French capital. 

Artwork supplier Tommaso Calabro introduced 15 works to the honest, the place they’re priced from $40,000 to $80,000. Two work have been pre-sold and one discovered a purchaser through the VIP preview. 

“He developed a set of photos that have been his personal,” Tommaso Calabro stated. “There was a play between animal and human varieties. Rhinos have been his alter-ego.” This distinctive vocabulary set him other than his Surrealist predecessors, he added.

Evidently costs are already shifting for Lepri. One early work, L’homme au visage craquelé (1953), fetched $25,171 at Sotheby’s London in Might, the artist’s second-highest value at public sale. On the Impartial, the identical work is priced at $45,000. It’s but to discover a purchaser.  

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