Lucio Fontana’s Concetto spaziale, La fine di Dio (1964), which has been in the Cindy and Howard Rachofsky collection for over two decades, will come up for sale at Sotheby’s this May.

Concetto, a brilliant cadmium yellow work from one of the artist’s most recognizable series, comes with an estimate of $20 million – $30 million, which makes the work not only the priciest Fontana to ever come to auction, but also sets the stage for a possible auction record. The work is one of only four works in the La fine di Dio series that Fontana made in cadmium yellow, one of which set Fontana’s current auction record of $29.1 million when it sold at Christie’s in 2015. 

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The Rachofsky’s Concetto spaziale, La fine di Dio stands out among the four yellow versions for having been a highlight at the Met’s Fontana retrospective in 2019 and by what Sotheby’s described as the “all-over density of its punctures, around which thickly built-up layers and globs of impasto coalesce, resulting in a composition that sears with visual drama and heightened intensity.”

The Rachofskys bought the work from Sotheby’s London in 2003 for $2.3 million. At the time, it was the highest price ever paid at auction for a Fontana. The acquisition was a watershed moment for the collecting couple, who aspired to build an international collection with a particular focus on movements that had yet to achieve global recognition. 

The sale could be seen as a blow to the Dallas Museum of Art, to which the Rachofskys, along with fellow Dallas-based power collectors the Hoffman family and the Rose family, pledged the entirety of their collection in 2005, albeit with the caveat that the couple can buy work and sell it as they see fit in order for the collection to remain in line with their vision over time. The gift was documented in a catalog for the DMA exhibition Fast Forward, in which it was described as an “irrevocable gift.”

According to Sotheby’s, “the Rachofskys have already donated over $50 million of art to the museum. This sale will enable them to continue making important acquisitions, further evolving the collection in ways which will continue to benefit the Dallas Museum of Art.”

The work will go on sale at Sotheby’s Contemporary Evening Auction on May 15.