Model for Chicago Picasso sculpture could fetch $35 million: Christie's

Wed Oct 2, 2013 7:15pm EDT
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By Mary Wisniewski

CHICAGO (Reuters) - 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 (15-meter) 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 now on display at 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 personal 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 highest price ever paid for a Picasso sculpture was $29.1 million for "Tete de Femme (Dora Maar) in 2007, according to Christie's.

The model being offered for sale, a 41-1/2 inch (104-cm) sheet-metal work, was put on display on Wednesday until Thursday at Christie's in Chicago ahead of a November 4-5 auction in New York.

Christie's decided to display it in Chicago to bring the three works together in the city.   Continued...

A cubist sculpture (R) by artist Pablo Picasso that he gave to the city is seen in Chicago, Illinois, October 2, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young