Two trends are coming together in Sotheby’s London sale of Impressionist and Modern art next month. The first is the rage for Giacometti works that has never died down since a round of retrospectives began almost a decade ago. The second is the way corporate art collections have been feeding a market with no shortage of buyers but a dearth of sellers. Carol Vogel explains how these trends collided in The New York Times:
On Friday, Sotheby’s plans to announce that it will be selling a “Walking Man I” in London on Feb. 3, when it is expected to bring $19.2 million to $28.8 million. (Some experts think it may break the record for this artist at auction, set at Christie’s in New York in May 2008 when “Standing Woman II,” from 1959-60 sold for $27.4 million.)
The sculpture on the block next month was acquired by Dresdner Bank in Germany, around 1980. Last year, when Commerzbank took over Dresdner, it inherited a collection of some 3,000 works of modern and contemporary art.
“We have now decided to allocate outstanding artworks to German museums and have selected one of the most valuable works in the collection for sale in London in February,” Martin Blessing, chief executive of Commerzbank, said in a statement, adding that the bank planned to donate the proceeds to its foundations and various museums. A spokeswoman for the company said it would keep the artworks not being sold or donated, for the time being anyway.
Inside Art: Giacometti on the Block (New York Times)