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  • AN OVERWHELMED MAN BY GIACOMETTI AT CHRISTIE’S

    Alberto Giacometti’s Homme qui chavire will highlight Christie’s 20th and 21st Century evening sale in London on June 30. Conceived in 1950, and cast a year later, Homme qui chavire pictures a man in the moment before he either falls to the ground, or conversely, rises from the earth to ascend upwards. The unbalanced figure expresses the violence and fatality that man cannot escape: the bent legs, the long arms helplessly arched out, the head thrown slightly back. It is one of the greatest of Giacometti’s now iconic elongated, attenuated figures that emerged after the end of the Second World War. This is one of six recorded casts, with other examples now held in museums including the Kunsthaus, Zurich, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, and Musée Granet, Aix-en-Provence. The last example of this important sculpture to be offered at auction was over a decade ago, in 2009, and it achieved $19.4 million. Since that time, Christie’s has set the world auction record for an Alberto Giacometti sculpture with L’homme au doigt which realised over $140 million in May 2015. This one will be offered with a pre-sale estimate of £12-18 million.

    Homme qui chavire was formerly in the collection of the American artist Lillian Florsheim (1896-1988). She acquired it in December 1951, from one of Giacometti’s most important dealers, Galerie Maeght. It remained in her collection for the rest of her life, before being sold by her family in 1998, where it was acquired by the present owner.

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