Bonhams Australia is delighted to announce the forthcoming auction LUCIO'S: Food, Art & Friendship. Taking place on 28 February, one month after the final service in January 2021 at what can undeniably be called Sydney's most venerable culinary and dining institution, the auction will present 200 works that span the restaurant's almost 40 years of history and celebrates Lucio and Sally Galletto's contribution to Australia's culinary and art landscapes.
Holding a special place in the Australian art world and recognised by The Independent as one of the five top restaurants in the world for art, Lucio's has been the unofficial equivalent to the Chelsea Arts Club. Its members have included John Olsen, Elisabeth Cummings, Luke Sciberras, Garry Shead, Ann Thomson, Hilarie Mais, John Coburn, Tim Storrier and Sidney Nolan, as well as attracting celebrity diners from all over the world including George Harrison, Al Pacino, and Jose Carreras. Over the decades, the walls have become lined with works, either given or bought. Some are drawn on napery, others on menus. Almost all are celebrations of Lucio's food and hospitality.
For many Sydneysiders, as well as discerning visitors, dining at Lucio's was a must. As Leo Schofield wrote in 1999: "Restaurant is perhaps an inadequate word, for Lucio's is more a kind of a salon, or at least the closest thing we have to one in Sydney. One goes there in the certain knowledge that the atmosphere will be warm, the company congenial, that there will be a number of agreeable people with whom to exchange pleasantries or ideas. Beyond its salonesque attributes is its status as an institution. Everyone knows Lucio's. Everyone loves Lucio's…Hither are drawn tycoons, the shakers and the shaken, budding plutocrats, fading stars. But most of all artists. Any good salon needs a peppering of creative types, and they have always seemed attracted to this spot. It is a happy place."
Lucio said: "Food and art for me is like the air that I breathe. I grew up in the family restaurant in Italy where we had an art gallery, so it has always been in my blood. It is very important for me personally and also; I think for our customers as well. The combination of great food, great service and great art on the walls is, in my view, one of the best dining experiences you can imagine."
In 2008, Lucio was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in the Queen's Birthday Honours 'For service to the community through contributions as a restaurateur and author, and to the support of arts organisations.'
Auction details will be available here.