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An extensive collection of works of art offered for sale by the Morrocco family
Alberto Morrocco (1917-1998) in his studio at Binrock House, Dundee © Chris Close.

LONDON.- Christie’s announced the forthcoming auction, A Celebration: The Studio of Alberto Morrocco and Binrock House, Dundee, which will be held at Christie’s South Kensington saleroom on Wednesday, 11 July 2012. Highlights from the Collection will be on view to the public at Mansfield Traquair, Edinburgh on 20-21 June 2012 prior to the full-sale exhibition at Christie’s from 7 July 2012.

The sale will offer over 180 lots at auction for the very first time from the private collection of the Morrocco family. Led by an exceptional selection of rare and beautiful works by British artist Alberto Morrocco, the auction will also comprise furniture and ephemera from the artist’s private studio in his Scottish home, Binrock House, Dundee including his easels and palettes. The Collection includes a broad spectrum of price points, with estimates from £800 through to £70,000; it is expected to realize a total in excess of £740,000 and is offered for sale by Leon, Laurie and Annalisa – the sons and daughter of Alberto. The auction precedes the saleroom’s quarterly 20th Century British Art auction which will take place the following day, on Thursday, 12 July 2012.

Leon Morrocco commented, “My brother, sister and I have so many vivid and often wonderfully eccentric memories of our father. We each played our part in his artistic career, posing for hours on end and beach combing with him as children, and even inadvertently lending our toys as his inspiration. He never stopped drawing or creating, even at the dinner table he’d mould objects from bread or the red wax around the Edam cheese. Having remained as a practically untouched shrine to his life and his work, it is time for Binrock House to be filled with new memories, and so we look forward to sharing our father’s extensive oeuvre with the world through Christie’s dedicated auction in July. We are very proud of all he achieved throughout his long career, and hope that his memory will live on through his joyous works.”

One of the most popular Scottish artists of the 20th century, Alberto Morrocco’s bold and decorative paintings are loved by many collectors and interior designers the world over. He painted constantly and collated an incredible oeuvre of work spanning his days at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen as a fourteen year old prodigy, through thirty years as an inspirational teacher and Head of the School of Painting at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee, until his death in 1998. His paintings have been said to “reflect a life of accomplishment and a personality that combined the best characteristics of his Italian ancestry and his Scottish upbringing” and draw upon multiple high-profile artistic influences, ranging from Pierre Bonnard and Alberto Giacometti through to Pablo Picasso.

Alberto Morrocco is known mostly for his striking brightly-coloured landscapes and simple, direct portraiture which make up the majority of the auction. However, a selection of works on paper also feature, as well as lesser-known and rare relief sculptures which were retained by the family after being exhibited at The Compass Gallery in 1969. Practically untouched since he last painted, Alberto’s studio remained filled with unfinished works, artistic aids and props, as well as complete paintings, easels, brushes and tools. Many items from around Binrock House can be clearly seen within his most famous works, and a variety is offered for sale alongside the works themselves, including several charming pieces of painted furniture such as the painted writing desk ‘Omaggio a Cocomero’ from 1980 (estimate: £2,000-3,000).

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