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PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF ROBERT S. MCNAMARA

Alberto Giacometti
BUSTE DE DIEGO
Estimate
600,000900,000
LOT SOLD. 1,762,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT
19

PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF ROBERT S. MCNAMARA

Alberto Giacometti
BUSTE DE DIEGO
Estimate
600,000900,000
LOT SOLD. 1,762,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

|
New York

Alberto Giacometti
1901 - 1966
BUSTE DE DIEGO
Inscribed A. Giacometti and numbered 6/6
Bronze
Height: 8 5/8 in.
21.9 cm
Conceived in 1950 and cast during the artist's lifetime in 1951.
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Provenance

Galerie Maeght, Paris

Acquired from the above in 1985

Literature

Alberto Giacometti (exhibition catalogue), Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York, 1950, illustration of another cast p. 23

Palma Bucarelli, Giacometti, Maestri del XX Secolo, Rome, 1962, no. 47, illustration of the plaster

Alberto Giacometti (exhibition catalogue), Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, 1990, illustration of another cast p. 70

Alberto Giacometti: Sculture, dipinti, disegni (exhibition catalogue), Palazzo Reale, Milan, 1995, no. 45, illustration of another cast p. 24

Alberto Giacometti 1901-1966
(exhibition catalogue), Kunsthalle, Vienna & Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, 1996, no. 44, illustration of another cast

Jean Soldini, Alberto Giacometti: La Somiglianza introvabile, Milan, 1998, illustration of another cast p. 136

Alberto Giacometti (exhibition catalogue), The Museum of Modern Art, New York & Kunsthaus Zürich, 2001-02, illustration of another cast p. 201

L'Atelier d'Alberto Giacometti, Collection de la Fondation Alberto et Annette Giacometti (exhibition catalogue), Centre Georges Pompidou, 2007-08, illustration of another cast p. 191

Catalogue Note

Buste de Diego is a powerful imagining of the artist's younger brother, Diego. In contrast with his full-length figural sculptures, the sculptures that Giacometti executed of Diego are often modest in scale and more emphatically focused on the nuances of the sitter's face.  Most of these works are heads and half-length busts, completed between 1950 and 1957 and often conceived from memory.  The process by which he executed them was highly tactile, using his hands to make impressions in the clay in what is known as the matière pétre, or kneaded method.  The resulting image is highly expressive and personalized by the artist's visible fingerprints in the surface of the sculpture. Concerning the current model from 1950, it has been pointed out that one side of the face seems to be more firm and youthful while the other side bears the signs of maturation. The passage of time was a central theme in Giacometti's work, and here it informs his conception of his younger brother. 

Discussing this period, Yves Bonnefoy has written: "These sculpted faces compel one to face them as if one were speaking to the person, meeting his eyes and thereby understanding better the compression, the narrowing that Giacometti imposed on the chin or the nose or the general shape of the skull. This was the period when Giacometti was most strongly conscious of the fact that the inside of the plaster or clay mass which he modelled was something inert, undifferentiated, nocturnal, that it betrays the life he sought to represent, and that he must therefore strive to eliminate this purely spatial dimension by constricting the material to fit the most prominent characteristics of the face. This is exactly what he achieves with amazing vigour when, occasionally, he gave Diego's face a blade-like narrowness - drawing seems to have eliminated the plaster, the head has escaped from space - and demands therefore that the spectator stand in front of the sculpture as he did himself, disregarding the back and sides of his model and as bound to a face-to-face relationship" (Y. Bonnefoy, Alberto Giacometti. A Biography of his Work, Paris, 1991, p. 432).

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

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New York