The most expensive sculpture sold at auction belongs to Alberto Giacometti and it’s the “Pointing man”. This life-size bronze sculpture sets record as most expensive sculpture sold at auction. The sculpture was made in 1947 and is widely recognised as one of the most important sculptures of the 20th Century. There are six casts of Pointing Man and this bronze one was painted by hand.
Frail yet erect, a man gestures with his left arm and points with his right. We have no idea what he points to, or why. Anonymous and alone, he is also almost a skeleton. Giacometti’s sculpture was “always halfway between nothingness and being.”
In the years leading up to World War II, Giacometti abandoned his earlier Surrealism. Dissatisfied with the resource of imagination, he returned to the resource of vision, focusing on the human figure and working from live models. Under his eyes, however, these models seem virtually to have dissolved.
Giacometti scraped away the body’s musculature, so that the flesh seems eaten off by a terrible surrounding emptiness, or to register the air around it as a hostile pressure. Recording the touch of the artist’s fingers, the surface of Man Pointing is as rough as if charred or corroded. At the same time, the figure dominates its space, even from a distance.
“Executed after the war in one incredible night of creative fervour, this noble figure points mankind towards a brighter future beyond our limited horizons. Along with Picasso painting, this sculpture breaked records.
An unusual work, don’t you agree?