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Alberto Giacometti sculpture breaks auction record

February 4, 2010 |  5:00 am

Alberto

Will that be cash or charge?

A bronze statue by the Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti has broken the record for the most expensive artwork sold at an auction, according to Sotheby's.

The statue, "L'Homme Qui Marche I" ("The Walking Man I"), was sold for $104.3 million at a recent London auction. The artwork was reportedly expected to fetch $20 million to $30 million. It was owned by Commerzbank, a German bank that inherited the work when it acquired Dresdner Bank.

The selling price barely beats the previous record of $104.2 million for Pablo Picasso’s “Garcon a la Pipe” in 2004, according to a report in Bloomberg.

Giacometti's sculpture originates from 1960, when the artist planned a series of bronze figures as part of a commission. The artwork stands 6 feet tall and depicts an extremely emaciated human figure in midstride.

The winning bid came over the phone in the auction house's London sale room, and the bidder has chosen to remain anonymous, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Giacometti is known for his sculptures depicting thin human forms. His "Tall Figure II" and "Tall Figure III" are part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, and are featured in the current exhibition "Collection: MOCA's First Thirty Years."

-- David Ng

Photo: "L'Homme Qui Marche I" by Giacometti. Credit: Justin Lane / EPA


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