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ART INDEX: Carla Accardi

Artist biography:

Carla Accardi (1924-2014) was an Italian painter and one of the most prominent female among Italian artists in the last century.

Carla Accardi, Punto e raggio, (1972), enamel on sicofoil, 156 x 156 cm,167,6 x 167,6 x 10,2 cm frame

Private Collection

She trained as a painter at both the Fine Art Academy of Palermo - where she first met Antonio Sanfilippo who eventually became her husband — and the Fine Art Academy of Florence before moving to Rome in 1946. Soon after her arrival in Rome, she became part of the Art Club inner circle and was a frequent visitor to Pietro Consagra’s studio. Accardi was also the sole female founding member of the post-war Forma 1 group with artists such as Attardi, Pietro Consagra, Piero Dorazio, Mino Guerrini, Achille

Perilli, Antonio Sanfilippo, and Giulio Turcato- a group of established artists based in Rome who embraced Futurism in the face of Fascism.

Whereas in the 1940s and 1950s her early paintings consisted of more geometric forms—some of which were said to be a muted counterpart to Jackson Pollock’s famous drip paintings-- she began painting her iconic blue-green-red calligraphic forms in the 1960s. It was also during this time that she began using Sicofoil (transparent plastic) instead of a canvas. Accardi’s later works were influential for the Arte Povera movement, a term coined by the renowned art historian Germano Celant - the author of the Carla Accardi catalogue raisonné.

Auction Results:

Accardi remains to date a fairly well treaded artist and the value of her works has steadily increased. According to, 786 works of her works (including prints and drawing-watercolour) were sold between 1989 and 2016 for a total value of $11,285,043 ranging from the lowest at $68 (Senza titolo) (Arti Interni Casa d’Aste, Brescia) in 2014 to the highest $235,264 (Grande integrazione, 1958) in 2008 (Finarte, Milan). The other two highest hammer prices were $222,936 (Verderossogiallonero,1967) in 2014 (Christie’s, London) and $211,717 (Biancobianco, 1966) in 2016 (Dorotheum, Vienna). Overall, 63% of Accardi’s auctioned works were sold between 1989 and 2016, increasing from one to 69 pieces, respectively.

100 $ invested in 2000 in a work of Carla Accardi have an average value of $886 (+ 786 %) in October 2015

Selected artworks currently on sale:

carla accardi, alessandro berni gallery

Carla Accardi “Blu”, 2007, Alessandro Berni Gallery

“Bianco nero su turchese”, 1960, Barbara Mathes Gallery

“Verde Rosso”, 1997, Partners & Mucciaccia

Selected Past Show in New York:

Infinite Space

Carla Accardi & Lucio Fontana

Sperone Westwater

January 6th - February 25th, 2006

257 Bowery, New York, NY 10002

Upcoming Shows in New York:


Barbara Mathes Gallery

Jan 11th – Feb 10th, 2017

22 East 80th Street, New York, NY 10075

Selected Collections:

Guggenheim Museum, New York

Uffizi Gallery, Florence

Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice

Museum of Modern Art, Moscow


In a 2005 article in the New York Times esteemed art critic Roberta Smith described Carla Accardi as “art star on the order of Agnes Martin in Italy.”

Bonhams 20 January 2016 sale which featured Accardi’s Argento Turchese in its Postwar Contemporary Art Sale was dedicated to shed light on gender imbalance in the visual arts. This reflects Accardi’s struggle against Italy’s patriarchal hegemony throughout her artistic career. Accardi was in fact the only female artist exhibited alongside prominent artists such as Burri and Fontana.

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