Model for Chicago sculpture could fetch $35M at auction
CHICAGO — A model for the cubist sculpture that Pablo Picasso gave to the city of Chicago could fetch as much as $35 million when it is sold at auction next month — a record for a sculpture by the artist, Christie's said on Wednesday.
Picasso never visited Chicago, but he admired the city and donated a 50-foot-tall steel work, which was completed in 1967 and sits in the city's Daley Plaza.
Picasso made two scale models for the sculpture. He sent one to Chicago for the builders of the full-size work to work from, which is on display in the city's Art Institute, and kept one.
The model kept by Picasso, which is being sold, belonged to his granddaughter, Marina Picasso, before going into the collection of art dealer Jan Krugier.
Sharon Kim, Christie's international director in Impressionist and Modern Art, said the pre-sale estimate was based on prices realized for comparable works by Picasso.
The record price paid for a Picasso sculpture was $29.1 million for “Tete de Femme” (Dora Maar) in 2007, according to Christie's.
The model offered for sale, a 411⁄2-inch sheet-metal work, was put on display until Thursday in Christie's in Chicago. The auction is set for Nov. 4-5 in New York.
Christie's decided to display it in Chicago to bring the three works together.
The statue has become a beloved icon in Chicago, its muscular metal weirdness an unofficial symbol of America's third-largest city.
When the Picasso was installed in 1967, response was chilly. According to Chicago newspaper columnist Mike Royko, a few people applauded but most had been hoping for something pretty and were silent.
Royko thought the statue captured the predatory spirit of Chicago, with its “cold, mean” eyes like the eyes of the city's gangsters, slum lords and crooked cops.
Kim said Picasso revered Chicago in part because the Art Institute of Chicago was the first American institution to display his work. When the city tried to offer him $100,000 for the sculpture, he refused it.
The statue is a magnet for tourists and small children who like to slide down the front. But people still argue over what it is — a woman, a horse or a giant insect?
“I think it's sort of like a monkey,” said Lisa Reilly, 42, of Grayslake, a suburb of Chicago. “It's cool.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- High court to weigh pregnancy work rights
- FBI investigates celebrities’ nude photo claims
- U.S. to get base in Niger to aid Islamist hunt
- New heart failure drug works much better than current treatment, study finds
- University of Wisconsin researchers work to customize vegetables for specific uses
- Cleveland welcomes server farms
- Perry distances himself from unflattering image tweeted of DA
- Lighthouse sale draws $78K bid off cost of Portland, Maine
- Female sergeant barricades self in Fort Lee building, commits suicide
- Wis. woman identified shooter before dying, court papers show
- Texas man cleared of shooting drunken driver who killed his 2 sons