ALBERTO GIACOMETTI | Grande femme
SOTHEBY’S TO OFFER ALBERTO GIACOMETTI’S FAMED GRANDE FEMME I IN A SEALED BID PRIVATE SALE
The Monumental, Nine-Foot Sculpture Cast In 1960 Marks the Finest And Grandest Work By The Artist To Appear On The Market Since The Record-Breaking Auction of L'homme au doigt in 2015
Beginning Today, All Qualified Participants Can Submit Sealed & Confidential “Best Bid” Offers *Starting Minimum Bid of $90 Million*
All Offers Received by Noon on 27 October Will Be Unsealed and Reviewed By Sotheby’s General Counsel And Outside Auditor, With the Highest Bidder Winning
Grande Femme I Will Be on View in Sotheby’s New York Galleries By Appointment from 21 – 27 October Alongside Highlights from Sotheby’s Marquee Evening Sales Of Contemporary and Impressionist & Modern Art
NEW YORK, 21 OCTOBER 2020 – Sotheby’s is honored to announce In Confidence: A Masterpiece by Alberto Giacometti, a “sealed bid” private sale offering of the artist’s monumental Grande femme I. The sale is open for confidential bidding starting today through 27 October, in advance of Sotheby’s marquee Evening Sales of Contemporary and Impressionist & Modern Art 28 October in New York.
Grande femme I is one of a series of four monumental female figures, each standing approximately nine-feet tall, which Giacometti created for an unrealized outdoor sculpture installation in Chase Manhattan Plaza in New York. A lifetime cast created in 1960, the sculpture is the finest and grandest in scale by Giacometti to come to market since the record-breaking sale of L'homme au doigt in 2015.
The “sealed bid” process represents an open, competitive, and timed private sale, in which all interested parties must file their interest with a sealed “best bid” offer. All qualified buyers can submit a confidential offer for the work, which is being offered subject to a reserve. The minimum starting bid is $90 million. At the closing of the sale on Tuesday, 27 October, at 12PM EDT, all sealed bids will be reviewed by Sotheby’s General Counsel and an outside auditor. All bids are considered irrevocable at the time of their submission. The highest bidder will acquire the work, subject to the rules and regulations of the sale, which can be found at sothebys.com/inconfidence.
Brooke Lampley, Sotheby’s Vice Chairman, Global Fine Arts, commented: “Grande femme I is the culmination of Alberto Giacometti’s lifelong project to sculpt the human, and specifically female, body. Beginning during wartime, Giacometti’s first representational works were tiny figures designed to fit in a matchbox and would grow ever larger in subsequent decades. Approximately nine feet tall and conceived to stand among the skyscrapers of lower Manhattan, the monumental Grande femme I is the climactic summation of this defining body of work. Works of this scale and grandeur by the artist have achieved record prices at auction, with comparable works selling for more than $100 million. Grande femme I is Giacometti’s final realization of both his ambition to sculpt in massive and haunting proportion, and his dedication to the female subject—a rare synthesis in his body of work and an emblem of his distinct contribution to the history of Modern sculpture.”
Amy Cappellazzo, Sotheby’s Chairman, Global Fine Arts, remarked: “We are extremely excited to share such a monumental sculpture by Alberto Giacometti in an innovative and creative sale format. Presenting such a unique and unparalleled work in a way that combines the benefits of a private sale and an auction, we have created a bespoke sale that was designed for this moment in time. Showcased alongside highlights from our marquee Evening Sales of Contemporary and Impressionist & Modern Art, the offering of Grand femme I at such an important juncture of our amended fall sale schedule further underscores the strength of the market and the flexibility we’re able to provide our clients and consignors.”
Grande femme I will be on view by appointment at Sotheby’s York Avenue galleries in New York beginning 21 October, through 27 October, alongside highlights from the upcoming marquee Evening Sales for Contemporary and Impressionist & Modern Art, which will be livestreamed to the world 28 October.
GRANDE FEMME I
Alberto Giacometti’s Grande femme I is one of a series of four monumental female figures, each standing approximately nine feet tall, which Giacometti created for an outdoor sculpture installation in Chase Manhattan Plaza. While the installation was never completed, the Grandes femmes series became iconic in their own right, and have been widely exhibited both independently and as an ensemble since their conception in 1960. Of all Giacometti’s sculptures of standing women, Grande femme I is perhaps one of his most dramatic. The figure’s haunting, elongated form, immobilized by large feet that are firmly rooted to their base, towers over the viewer with the permanence and fortitude of a giant tree.