This Thursday, an extraordinary collection of exceptional works on paper and fine prints goes on exhibit at Naples’ New River Fine Art. It’s aptly called The Masters, not only because its opening coincides with the first round of the golf tourney of the same name, but because it consists of rare works by Renoir, Matisse, Chagall, Miro, Picasso, Dali, Giocometti and more.
The Giocometti is a 1963 etching on Arches paper entitled Sculptures in the Studio. It is signed in pencil in the lower right and number 48 of 150 in the lower left. The sheet size of this work is 11 5/8 x 9 1/4 inches, but with frame it is 17 1/4 x 14 3/4 inches. The lithograph features Giacometti’s two favorite subjects, his famous sculptures and his brother, Diego Giacometti, who was Alberto’s lifelong companion and assistant.
Giocometti first exhibited his sculpture in 1927 at the Salon des Tuileries in Paris, where he and Diego occupied a studio together. In that same year, he and his father, a post-impressionist painter, had a dual show at Galerie Aktuaryus in Zurich, Switzerland. The following year, Giacometti met André Masson, and briefly became a member of his Surrealist inner circle. As war broke out across Europe, Alberto became friends with Simone de Beauvoir, Pablo Picasso, and Jean-Paul Sartre, but he was finally forced to flee to Geneva, where he became associated with the publisher Albert Skira.
Giocometti returned to Paris in 1946. Two years later, he was given a solo show at the Pierre Matisse Gallery in New York and in 1955 he was honored with retrospectives at the Arts Council Gallery in London and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. Giocometti received the Sculpture Prize at the 1961 Carnegie International in Pittsburgh and the Grand Prize for Sculpture at the 1962 Venice Biennale, where he was given his own exhibition area.
In 1965, Giacometti exhibitions were organized by the Tate Gallery, MoMA, the Louisiana Museum in Humlebaek, Denmark, and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. That same year, he was awarded the Grand Prix National des Arts by the French government.
Giacometti died January 11, 1966 in Chur.
Interestingly, another 1963 Giocometti lithograph just sold (on March 30) at Sotheby’s in London for in excess of $3,000 more than the one available at New River Fine Art. Titled Man Standing and Sun (Lust 38), the Sotheby lithograph is also signed by Giocometti in pencil but is number 145 of a run of 150 prints. The image in the Sotheby lithograh is neither as detailed nor as significant as that depicted by the New River lithograph, suggesting that at $14,000, the New River Giocometti is a value purchase.
For more information about this rare signed Giocometti lithograph, The Masters or New River Fine Art, please call Gallery Director Martha Schaub at 239-435-4515. New River Fine Art is located in Suite 102 at 600 Fifth Avenue South in Naples.