At Sotheby’s, the top lot of the night (May 14, 2018) —and one of the most buzzed-about this season—was Amedeo Modigliani‘s large nude Nu couché (sur le côté gauche) (1917), which carried a $150 million estimate, the most expensive ever placed on a single work at auction. It also had an irrevocable, or third-party, bid placed in advance. The work sold for a premium-inclusive price of $157 million after sparse bidding.
“Modigliani has now joined the ultimate club within the art market at $150 million,” he said at a post-sale press conference. “He’s the only artist who has broken that ceiling twice.”
The Modigliani canvas is part of a prized series of nude paintings, produced between 1916 and 1919, that caused a scandal when they were first shown in Paris. When exhibited in Berthe Weill’s gallery for what would be the only one-man exhibition that Modigliani during his lifetime, a sizable crowd outside raised the curiosity of the police, who shut down the show after two days. (Only two drawings sold.)
Worth the view; Some of Modigliani’s Most Seductive Portraits Were Once Censored by Police—See Them Here https://news.artnet.com/exhibitions/modigliani-tate-london-1232252
Destined to be an all time classic, Diego Voci’s; $20,000 REWARD for the “Nude in Yellow” Watch! https://youtu.be/EA5aZ88bCM4
Diego Voci; 60 x 50 cm oil on canvas (polaroid image of painting)
The internationally collected artist Antonio Diego Voci (1920-1985) is known as “The Artist of a Thousand Faces”. Diego claimed he painted them all from memory. The exception was his time doing caricatures, when he would complete 20 in two to three hours. Helga, Diego’s widow, remembers “People would stand in line waiting their turn. They loved him. When we met in Paris and we needed money Diego would go away with a pad of 20 sheets of paper, and come back with money.”
We know this masterful painting was purchased in Diego’s studio for $450 on 4th April 1981. Please tell us if you have any clue of the owner of this painting or any information on this painting?
(left) Diego Voci’s “Visage de Fille” 11” x14”, oil on board. Diego Voci (1920-1985)
(right) Amedeo Modigliani’s “Portrait de Paulette Jourdain,” c. 1919, which sold at Sotheby’s for $42.8 million.
Persons attracted to Modigliani are also drawn to the magnetism of artist DIEGO VOCI™. This small Diego is part of the DIEGO VOCI™ ESTATE. Available: Link to www.diegovociproject.com; click “Acquire Originals”.
About the $42 million Modigliani:
“There were plenty of big-ticket lots peppered throughout the evening, highlighted in large part by Amedeo Modigliani’s beautiful and almost prim seated portrait “Paulette Jourdain,” from circa 1919, which sold to an anonymous telephone bidder for the top lot price of $42,810,000 (est. upon request in excess of $25 million). The unidentified, silver-haired under bidder sat in the fourth row of the salesroom, wedged between two blonde companions and sipping white wine during the bidding. The pony-tailed sitter in the painting was the maid and later companion/lover of Leopold Zborowski, Modigliani’s Paris dealer. The work was last exhibited in “Modigliani and His Models” at the Royal Academy of Arts, London in 2006. It was one of Modigliani’s last portraits before his death in 1920 and #Taubman acquired the work from the Acquavella Galleries in 1983, the same year he acquired Sotheby’s with the help of several private investors, including Henry Ford II.”
AC P of W #290 11/9/15
“HELGA and DIEGO” by Helga Voci
Helga (here in the image) enjoying the moment in a Paris Bistro.
CHAPTER 3 Paris Summer 1960 to February 1962
“In Paris summer 1960… I got very sick and I was in the Hospital for 3 months. I was very weak when I came out and had lost a lot of weight, so in order to get strong again Diego went with me to South France. We stayed in very good hotels; he made me eat a lot of very good food, a very calm life. At that time he did very beautiful drawings, but he did not keep them, he gave them to people in Hotels or to friends. We stayed there until November 1960.
From there I flew to Munich and stayed some weeks over Christmas in Bavaria with my family while Diego went to London. He rented a beautiful furnished apartment in SoHo. In January 1961, I followed him to London. I studied English and Diego made some paintings and drawings. From time to time he made caricatures in American Officer’s clubs. He did not look for Galleries to make exhibits. When I asked him, he always said: “I`m not ready yet, I have to study more.”
The weather was very bad in London and Diego wanted to go south to the sun. So we decided to go to Spain in October 1961. We took the car and went southward, stopped in several cities and after about 1 month we arrived in the Andalusia region in a very beautiful little fishing village called Almunecar. This was an artist`s colony, all kind of artists from different countries. We stayed until January 1962. We had a beautiful and very interesting time with long discussions, Diego also made paintings and drawings but he never kept anything, when the painting was finished he was not interested anymore and made presents to friends. He was very popular among the Spanish people also the higher class and he felt wonderful.
In February 1962 we left Spain and went to Morocco, first to Casablanca and Tangier and then he was supposed to go to Marrakech to do some work in an American Officers’ Club. I had to go to Germany for personal reasons, so I flew to Munich while Diego stayed in Marrakech.”
AC DV History 6/10/2010 Post #36
As evidence of Diego’s dedication to Helga here is the #Paris registration required for Diego to speak for his new love Helga in the hospital. Notice (in the image below) Diego is still signing Antonio Voci. “Diego” did not show up on documents for another 5 years.
What follows in the next blog is Chapter 3 Paris Summer 1960 to February 1962 by Helga.
#DIEGO VOCI Aficionados get a special bonus. Nobody knew #DIEGO VOCI better for 25 years than Helga Voci. She is sole owner of the Diego Voci Estate and provides us with this terrific insight into her, and her years with #DIEGO VOCI.
Chapter One: Who is Helga Voci?
“I was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1939, just before the war started. My parents were Germans, at that time many Germans had been living in Czechoslovakia for generations. When the war started my father had to join the army and he was killed in 1941 in Russia, my maiden name was Drössler. In 1945 all Germans had to leave Czechoslovakia (because Hitler had lost the war) and we were brought to Germany, my family to Bavaria.
“Prag / Tschechin”, D. Voci 1964, oil on wood, 56 x 80 cm.
In 1948 my mother married again, her name was then Brandl, I kept the name Drössler. After high school I went for 1 year to a Hotel boarding school, where I received my diploma when I was 18. In order to improve my language knowledge in English and French which was very important for that profession, I decided to go to Paris together with a girlfriend of that school. A few months before we had made a short trip to Paris to find out what possibilities we had to find accommodations, the right school and the way to make some money, as my family and her family were not quite happy about the idea to see us in Paris (this was over 50 years ago!) and did not want to finance this project.
Anyway, we took the train in December 1957, went to Paris, took a taxi and went right away to school. There was a big blackboard in the hallway with many ads of families who were looking for au-pair girls. We called several numbers and within short time we both had a place to live.
In Paris we stayed until March 1959. It was a beautiful time, we studied, in the evenings we frequented the typical Parisian coffeehouses where we met many students and many artists and during the holidays we made trips through France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Greece and so on. In March 1959 we decided to work for the season to make some money. So we both found work in a Hotel in Bernkastel at the Mosel/Germany for 6 months, until September 1959. Then we both went home to our families for a few months.” – Helga Voci
NEXT: Chapter Two: Helga meets DIEGO VOCI in Paris
6/10/2010 AC DV History #30
How and when did Antonio Innocenzo Voci (No Diego), born August 10, 1920 in the small village of Gasperina, Italy become known as “Diego”?
Friends and family called him “TOTO” in his years of youth (No Diego).
Somewhere from “TOTO” there was a change to “Diego” even though he would not sign his art “Diego” until 1965. Early works of art were signed some form of VOCI. As late as 1965, his works were advertised by Schloßgalerie, #Zürich, as Antonio Voci (Not Diego). He signed “A. Voci”.
Yet much earlier he was called “Diego.” How & when is unknown. Anthony “Tony” Voci in 1957 (son of Diego’s older brother Vincenzo) toured Europe with “Diego”. Tony said in an interview;
“Every town we drove thru, Diego would say we need to stop for an espresso and cigarette”…. When Diego would walk into the restaurants, the owners would welcome him as “Diego”.”
Diego signed “D. Voci 1957” on the gifts he drew for Tony during the same travels.
In 1960 the famous sculptor Gigi #Guadagnucci used the name “Diego” to introduce him to Helga at the Les Deux Magots café in Paris. Helga knew her husband-to-be as “Diego” for their 25 years together.
He first signed his work “Diego” in 1965 when Joy Gibson, the Canadian art dealer began representing his work.
In 1970, he signed a contract with Dr. Jawdat Naffouj, as “Antonio Diego.”
In 1974, he signed a contract with Cooprider signing “Diego Voci”.
1976 was the first time he offered his name as Antonio “Diego” Voci on an official government document. It was with the town of Taunusstein for a residence permit required to buy the house / studio where Diego & Helga lived together until his death in 1985. Helga maintains the same address.
So again, the big question is: how and when did “Toto” become “Diego”? Can you help?
You can see a few signatures from his paintings on Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/diegovoci/signatures/ and Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonio_Diego_Voci#Gallery
AC DV History 12/21/15 #208
Thanks to Gigi #Guadagnucci while in #Paris, Diego was introduced to Helga Drössler… it is a great chance meeting at “LES DEUX MAGOTS“. Diego said,
“The real academy is in the Cafe…. where you meet so many artists.”
More on the Lovers: http://www.artifactcollectors.com/diego-history-4330818/Page2.html#33 Here is one address we found for 1960, in the 6th #arrondissement:
As noted above in his resident permit #PARIS, Click here and see 19 Rue du Vieux Colombier in PARIS TODAY: