51
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PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF ARTHUR & SARA JO KOBACKER

Alberto Giacometti
BUSTE D'HOMME ASSIS (LOTAR III)
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Lots with this symbol indicate that a party has provided Sotheby’s with an irrevocable bid on the lot that will be executed during the sale at a value that ensures that the lot will sell. The irrevocable bidder, who may bid in excess of the irrevocable bid, will be compensated based on the final hammer price in the event he or she is not the successful bidder or may receive a fixed fee in the event he or she is the successful bidder. If the irrevocable bidder is the successful bidder, the fixed fee (if applicable) for providing the irrevocable bid may be netted against the irrevocable bidder’s obligation to pay the full purchase price for the lot and the purchase price reported for the lot shall be net of such fixed fee. If the irrevocable bid is not secured until after the printing of the auction catalogue, a pre-lot announcement will be made indicating that there is an irrevocable bid on the lot. If the irrevocable bidder is advising anyone with respect to the lot, Sotheby’s requires the irrevocable bidder to disclose his or her financial interest in the lot. If an agent is advising you or bidding on your behalf with respect to a lot identified as being subject to an irrevocable bid, you should request that the agent disclose whether or not he or she has a financial interest in the lot.
Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
1,200,0001,800,000
LOT SOLD. 1,820,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
51

PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF ARTHUR & SARA JO KOBACKER

Alberto Giacometti
BUSTE D'HOMME ASSIS (LOTAR III)
Estimate
Irrevocable Bids
Lots with this symbol indicate that a party has provided Sotheby’s with an irrevocable bid on the lot that will be executed during the sale at a value that ensures that the lot will sell. The irrevocable bidder, who may bid in excess of the irrevocable bid, will be compensated based on the final hammer price in the event he or she is not the successful bidder or may receive a fixed fee in the event he or she is the successful bidder. If the irrevocable bidder is the successful bidder, the fixed fee (if applicable) for providing the irrevocable bid may be netted against the irrevocable bidder’s obligation to pay the full purchase price for the lot and the purchase price reported for the lot shall be net of such fixed fee. If the irrevocable bid is not secured until after the printing of the auction catalogue, a pre-lot announcement will be made indicating that there is an irrevocable bid on the lot. If the irrevocable bidder is advising anyone with respect to the lot, Sotheby’s requires the irrevocable bidder to disclose his or her financial interest in the lot. If an agent is advising you or bidding on your behalf with respect to a lot identified as being subject to an irrevocable bid, you should request that the agent disclose whether or not he or she has a financial interest in the lot.
Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
1,200,0001,800,000
LOT SOLD. 1,820,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

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New York

Alberto Giacometti
1901 - 1966
BUSTE D'HOMME ASSIS (LOTAR III)
Inscribed Alberto Giacometti, numbered 3/8 and inscribed with the foundry mark Susse Fondeur Paris; stamped with the raised foundry mark Susse Fondeur Paris Cire Perdue (on the interior)
Bronze
Height: 25 7/8  in.
65.7 cm
Conceived in 1965-66; this example cast in 1973.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by the Comité Giacometti and it is recorded in the Alberto Giacometti database as 4137.

Provenance

Annette Giacometti, Paris

Thomas Gibson Fine Art, London

Acquired from the above on July 5, 1982 

Literature

Alberto Giacometti (exhibition catalogue), Tate Gallery, London, 1965, photograph of the clay in progress in the artist's studio pl. 36

Alberto Giacometti (exhibition catalogue), Orangerie des Tuileries, Paris, 1969-70, illustration of the plaster p. 89

Carlo Huber, Alberto Giacometti, Lausanne, 1970, photograph of the clay in the artist's studio p. 87

Reinhold Hohl, Alberto Giacometti, Stuttgart, 1971, illustration of the plaster p. 272

Alberto Giacometti, A Retrospective Exhibition (exhibition catalogue), Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 1974, illustration of another cast p. 124

Alberto Giacometti (exhibition catalogue), Fondation Maeght, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, 1978, illustration of another cast p. 29

Jacques Dupin & Michel Leiris, Alberto Giacometti, Paris, 1978, illustration of another cast p. 29

Giacometti, Sculptures, Paintings, Drawings (exhibition catalogue), Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester; City of Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, Bristol & Serpentine Gallery, London, 1981, illustration of another cast p. 43

Alberto Giacometti (exhibition catalogue), Galleria Pieter Coray, Lugano, 1984, illustration of another cast pl. 14

Alberto Giacometti, sculture, dipinti, disegni (exhibition catalogue), Museo Communale d'Art Moderna, Ascona, Italy, 1985, illustration of another cast p. 63

James Lord, Giacometti, A Biography, New York, 1985, pp. 494-95 & 518

Alberto Giacometti (exhibition catalogue), Fondation Pierre Gianadda, Martigny, 1986, illustration of another cast p. 123

Herbert & Mercedes Matter, Alberto Giacometti, New York, 1987, illustrations of another cast pp. 173 & 190-91

Giovanni, Augusto, Alberto, Diego Giacometti (exhibition catalogue), Centro Cultural Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City, 1987, illustration of another cast p. 81

Alberto Giacometti, Skulpturen—Gemälde—Zeichnungen—Graphik (exhibition catalogue), Staatliche Museen Preussicher Kulturbesitz, Berlin & Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart, 1987-88, illustration in color of another cast p. 327

Alberto Giacometti (exhibition catalogue), Galerie Beyeler, Basel, 1990, illustrations of another cast pp. 87-88

Alberto Giacometti, dibujo, escultura, pintura (exhibition catalogue), Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, 1990-91, illustration in color of another cast p. 561

Yves Bonnefoy, Alberto Giacometti, A Biography of His Work, Paris, 1991, illustration in color of another cast p. 529

Alberto Giacometti, sculptures—peintures—dessins (exhibition catalogue), Musée d'art moderne de la ville de Paris, 1991-92, illustration of another cast p. 393

Angela Schneider, ed., Alberto Giacometti, Sculpture-Paintings-Drawings, New York, 1994, illustration of another cast pl. 157

Alberto Giacometti 1901-1966 (exhibition catalogue), Kunsthalle, Vienna & Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, 1996, illustrations in color of another cast pl. 79 & p. 192

Alberto Giacometti (exhibition catalogue), Kunsthaus, Zurich & The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2001-02, illustrations of the clay in progress in the artist's studio p. 198 & of another cast p. 259

L'Atelier d'Alberto Giacometti, Collection de la Fondation Alberto et Annette Giacometti (exhibition catalogue), Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2007-08, illustrations of the clay p. 221 & of the plaster p. 408

Alberto Giacometti, The Origin of Space (exhibition catalogue), Kunstmuseum, Wolfsburg & Museum der Moderne Mönchsberg, Salzburg, 2010-11, illustration in color of another cast p. 181

Giacometti The Late Work (1960-1966), Galerie Lympia, Nice, 2017, photographs of the clay on the inside front cover, inside back cover, pp. 50-53 & 60; illustrations of the plaster pp. 61, 63 & 64; illustrations of another cast pp. 62 & 65

Catalogue Note

The day after Alberto Giacometti died, Diego Giacometti rushed back to Paris. Back to Alberto’s studio on the rue Hippolyte-Maindron on an urgent technical and artistic mission. Alberto’s final works sat in his unheated studio draped in wet cloths; it was early January and it was freezing. As Diego feared, he found the cloths frozen onto the clay sculptures, and clay could rupture and burst when frozen. What lay beneath the fabric was unknown, even to Diego. “The rags wrapped around the last bust of Lotar were frozen,” relates James Lord. “Diego built a fire in the stove, a slow fire at first, taking care not to heat the place too quickly. His work had to be done with utmost patience and skill. It was the very last time he would be called on to perform such work. When the rags were thawed enough to be unwrapped, he saw that the clay had not burst. Alberto’s final work remained intact” (J. Lord, op. cit., p. 518). As was his habit, Diego created a plaster cast from the clay, preserving Alberto’s work in a more permanent form before it was cast into eternal bronze, ensuring that this work, Buste d'homme assis (Lotar III) survived (see fig. 1).

Throughout the final years of his life Alberto continued to use his favored models, his brother Diego and his wife Annette, though two others joined his retinue: the young, irksome, and utterly entrancing Caroline (a local prostitute who captivated the artist), and the Hungarian-born photographer Eli Lotar who had appeared periodically throughout Alberto’s life but whose presence crystallized in the final years. Some of Alberto’s greatest paintings would capture Caroline’s visage but in his sculpted works it was Lotar who commanded the artist’s attention. Lotar and Caroline would frequent Alberto’s studio, modeling or running errands. At night they would exist in the twilight world of Montparnasse, frequenting Chez Adrien, eating and drinking into the early hours of the morning.

As a photographer, Lotar captured the states of Giacometti’s progress on his own likenesses. Giacometti’s studio and work had been photographed before, but the opportunity for a sitter who modeled almost each and ever day for well over a year to document this space was unique. One can see the shape of the face, neck and chest change frame by fame as images of Lotar, Caroline and Diego appear in the same strip of negatives, with photographs of the date included to document the passage of time (see fig. 2). "A number of photographs of Giacometti's studio, taken late in 1965, show this work in progress. They reveal that Giacometti would pour water over the clay, partly no doubt to make it more malleable, but also to soften the finger marks of his modelling and give the work a blurred, out-of-focus appearance. Towards the end of 1965 Lotar himself took photographs of the work as it progressed. Giacometti, who had been unwell for some time, worked on the bust during his last days in Paris in December 1965, before parting for the hospital in Chur, Switzerland, where he hoped to be treated" (Alberto Giacometti 1901-1966, op. cit., p. 192). 

Lotar’s visage was well suited to Alberto’s preferences. With a bald head, regular features and wrinkles etched between his brows, Lotar lent himself to the heavy, malleable clay which Giacometti preferred for his table-top works (see fig. 3), while for full length figures he used the more instantaneous plaster. Giacometti created three busts of Lotar starting around 1964. “The first shows the model’s head and torso, with a very approximate indication of arms, whereas the second shows the head only and a suggestion of shoulders. The two busts are similar in appearance and feeling…. The third, last bust of Lotar stands in a realm apart. The model is shown in somewhat the same position as in the first portrait, the indication of arms, even of hands, however, more fully developed, also the buttocks and upper legs, upon which the hands rest. All similarity ends there. The feeling is utterly different. This is a final affirmation. Its finality emanates solely from itself, not from our awareness that this work was the artist’s last. It is a terminal statement, and as such reduces the contrivance of words to ineffectual fumbling” (ibid., pp. 493-94).

Some time after Alberto’s death, Diego had a bronze cast of Buste d'homme assis (Lotar III) placed on Alberto’s grave alongside a small bird that Diego had sculpted (see fig. 4). As the last sculpture of Alberto Giacometti, all bronzes of Buste d'homme assis (Lotar III) were cast posthumously. The original clay, the plaster and the first bronze cast of this work are held in the collection of the Fondation Giacometti while further casts are found in the Musée Granet, Aix-en-Provence, the Museo Ciäsa Granda, Stampa, Switzerland and the Fondation Beyeler, Basel. The present example has remained in the same private collection since 1982.

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

|
New York