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The rise in prices for art objects did not leave aside sculpture either. However, after the crisis, people again rushed to the buyer of the masters' creations, this time the sculpture made a leap, overtaking its competitor in pace.
The record holder among the most expensive sculptors can be considered Alberto Giacometti, in just a few years his works have quadrupled in price. But it is not only the works of Giacometti that are appreciated, which will be discussed below.
Alberto Giacometti, Walking Man I, 1961. This sculpture was sold in 2010 at Sotheby’s auction for a record $ 104.327 million. The walking man figurine is 183 cm high. This is only the first version of the sculptor's works on this topic. It is "Walking Man I" that is considered the most important creation of the master. Giacometti created the sculpture in 1961 for the town square. That is why the work came out quite high - with a human height. Like other creations of Giacometti, there is his characteristic modernism. The figure was created with minimal elaboration of details, the shape itself is much more important here. The sculpture depicts a lonely and fragile pedestrian. The work became famous after the 1962 Venice Art Exhibition. The "Walking Man" was called a humble image of a man, but a powerful symbol of humanity. The figure seems to be going against the wind. The sculpture is considered one of the most iconic works of Art Nouveau, and is even featured on the Swiss 100 franc note.
Damien Hirst, For the Love of God, 2007. This work is better known as The Diamond Skull. It represents the bones of the human head, made of platinum and inlaid with diamonds. The author is the famous and already cult British artist Damien Hirst. His sculpture is the most expensive work of art among all creators living today. The skull, 20 cm high, is a miniature copy of a 35-year-old European who lived in the 18th-19th centuries. The surface of the sculpture is studded with 8601 diamonds with a total weight of 1106 carats. In the center of the skull is a large pink diamond. The sculptor himself cost his work 1 million British pounds. This masterpiece was first shown to the public in 2007 at the White Cube Gallery in London. In the same year, the sculpture was bought for the purpose of investing by a consortium of the creator himself, his manager Frank Dunphy and Ukrainian businessman Viktor Pinchuk for $ 100 million.
Amedeo Modigliani, The Head, 1910-1912. This work was sold at Christie's in 2010 for $ 59.5 million. The height of the sculpture is about 65 cm, the master worked on it for several years. As a result, it became his most valuable work. Surprisingly, Modigliani is better known as an artist. In his paintings, women are depicted with elongated necks and heads. The head was shown to the public in 1912, becoming a typical part of Modigliani's work. Here are all the same oval face and almond-shaped eyes, small mouth and long thin nose as in the portraits. Since 1927, the "Head" has been in the private collection of Gaston Levy, the founder of the supermarket chain. The sculpture was valued at about 7 million, but its price unexpectedly rose at auction. It is interesting that there are also bronze castings of such heads, but they cost tens of thousands. In this case, the high price is determined by the material - the master himself worked on the stone.
Unknown author, The Lioness of Guennola, c. 3000-2800 BC e. The works of not only modern masters, but also ancient geniuses are appreciated. In 2007, this sculpture was sold at Sotheby’s auction for $ 57 million. And in this case, the price exceeded the expected one by 3-4 times. As a result, this piece of ancient art is the most expensive in the world. The figurine is small, only 8 cm high. It was created by someone in Mesopotamia 5 thousand years ago. It was created at a time when people invented money, the wheel, and began to build big cities. The statuette was then worn around the neck. And they found this item in Iraq, near Baghdad. From 1948 it was kept by the private American collector Alistair Martin, until he decided to sell it. The former owner decided to send all the proceeds to charity.
Alberto Giacometti, Diego's Big Head, 1954. Another work of the famous Swiss in 2010 was estimated at Christie's at $ 53.3 million. And in this case, the starting price was significantly exceeded. The sculpture depicts Giacometti's constant model throughout his life - his brother Diego. Like the rest of the sculptor's works, this one is cast in bronze. Its frozen forms have forever preserved for posterity the touch of the genius's fingers and his prints. This is the technique of Giacometti - sign and incompleteness, which symbolizes the imperfection of our world and the constant desire of a person to be in search. The master cast this sculpture for placement in one of the squares of New York. Although Giacometti did not manage to finish the work on it due to his death, it is still appreciated among collectors.
Henri Matisse, "Nude female figure from the back IV", 1930. This work also has a serial number. This is the fourth version of the relief "Standing with her back to the viewer", and the most memorable and grandiose. 12 casts were taken from the sculpture; the best examples are in the world's leading museums. In private possession there were only two copies, one of which went on sale. At Christie's auction for the sculpture in 2010, they paid $ 48.8 million. Matisse's series of four full-length bronze reliefs is considered the greatest phenomenon in modernism of the last century. Matisse has repeatedly made changes to "Standing with his back to the viewer." Each new interpretation of it changed the position of the figure, the surface. Thus, the sculptor tried to achieve the perfect image. The fourth attempt took place two decades after the first.
Constantin Brancusi, Madam LR., 1918. The sculptor Constantin Brancusi from Romania was able to create his own original style - sculptural abstraction. He became the first to develop a new direction. As a result, Brancusi's work has had a great influence on all modern sculpture. The master's most famous work was sold in 2009 for $ 37.1 million. At the auction Christie’s then sold a collection of art objects of Yves Saint Laurent. Brancusi used fluid stylized contours, enhancing the laconicism and geometric abstraction of forms. The wooden sculpture, named after a certain Madame LR, is devoid of the rich emotional background that is usually inherent in works of art.
Henry Moore, Lying Figure: The Festival, 1951. As recently as 2012, Christie’s paid $ 30.1 million for this work. The sculptor himself called the "Lying Figure" one of his three best creations. The work represents an openwork reclining figure of a woman. Despite its fragility, its forms look monolithic. Henry Moore was commissioned to cast it for the 1951 British Festival. By that time, the sculptor already owned the prize of the Venice Exhibition, being the most famous British modern sculptor. The festival celebrated the centenary of the 1851 World's Fair and planned to showcase the achievements of modern Britain and its aspiration for modernism.
Pablo Picasso, "Head of a Woman. Dora Maar", 1941. In 2007, the sculpture of Picasso, sold at Sotheby's for $ 29.1 million, became the most expensive in the world. True, she did not carry such a title for long. The beloved master, French artist and photographer Dora Maar, took a special place in his work. Picasso, in addition to her paintings, also cast the image of a woman in bronze.
Constantin Brancusi, "Bird in Space", 1922-1923. Brancusi paid increased attention to birds, he had 27 pieces of work with them - a whole series. These creatures differ in shape and size. Critics consider "Bird in Space" to be the best work. In 2005, Christie’s auction was able to gain $ 27.4 million for it. This sculpture differs from its predecessors in that their traditional zigzag tail and beak have turned into two spindle points. The bird itself has become a universal generalized form. Considering the cost of the work, the shape can be considered ideal. Moreover, even an ingot of gold in the form of such a spindle would be cheaper. Which once again underlines the power and value of art. The work was originally owned by Leonie Rica, a Parisian, art lover and owner of a glamorous salon. But after the breakup between the hostess and her husband, "Bird" first visited the bank vault, and then entered the auction. It is believed that "Bird in Space" was bought in joint ownership by three American dealers at once.