SOTHEBY’S TO OFFER A MAJOR MONUMENTAL SCULPTURE BY ALBERTO GIACOMETTI SOTHEBY’S TO OFFER A MAJOR MONUMENTAL SCULPTURE BY ALBERTO GIACOMETTI - Only life-time cast of this subject ever to come to auction
News-Antique.com - Jan 14,2010 - LONDON, Friday, January 8, 2010 --On Wednesday, February 3, 2010, Sotheby’s will offer for sale one of the most important sculptures by Alberto Giacometti ever to have come to the auction market: L’Homme qui marche I, a life-size work that ranks among the most arresting and iconic of the artist’s bronzes. Its appearance at auction in February will mark the first time a Giacometti figure of a walking man in this monumental size has come to auction in over 20 years.* More than that, this particular piece has the distinction of being a life-time cast. No life-time cast of the subject has ever been seen at auction before. Formerly part of the corporate collection of Dresdner Bank AG (by whom it was acquired circa 1980), the work came into the possession of Commerzbank AG after the latter’s takeover of Dresdner Bank in 2009. Cast in 1961, L’Homme qui marche I is estimated to sell for a sum in excess of £12 million.** Proceeds from the sale will be entirely put towards supporting Commerzbank’s foundations as well as selected museums. The work will be one of the centerpieces of Sotheby’s forthcoming Evening sale of Impressionist & Alberto Giacometti, L’Homme qui marche I, bronze, Modern Art.
estimate: £1218 million/ $1929 million/ €1420 million
The market for 20th century sculpture and Giacometti has developed considerably over the last few years. Helena Newman, Co-Chairman of Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art Department Worldwide, said: “Following on from the exceptional price achieved with the sale of L’Homme qui chavire which made $19.3 million against an estimate of $8-12 million at Sotheby’s New York in November 2009, we are delighted to have the rare opportunity to offer a monumental and lifetime cast of this iconic work.”
With the acquisition of Dresdner Bank, Commerzbank acquired works of modern and contemporary art. From among these, the Giacometti sculpture has been selected for sale in London, and a further 100 or so works will be placed on permanent loan with museums in Frankfurt (Museum für Moderne Kunst, Städel Museum) Dresden (Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden and Städtische Galerie), and Berlin. The aim of the donations is to help enhance the existing collections of these outstanding
museums, and also to allow for greater public access to many of the works from the former Dresdner bank collection. Martin Blessing, CEO of Commerzbank, said: “We obtained a well-known corporate collection of modern and contemporary art when we acquired Dresdner Bank. We have now decided to allocate outstanding artworks to German museums and have selected one of the most valuable works in the collection for sale in London in February. In accordance with the high priority we place on
cultural and social responsibility, we plan to donate the proceeds to our foundations and to the museums.”
L’Homme qui marche I was executed at the highpoint of Giacometti’s mature period. By this time, the image of a standing or walking human figure was established as pivotal to the artist’s iconography. In the years after the Second World