Hedge Fund Honcho Steve A. Cohen Is Buyer of $101 Million Giacometti
Last Tuesday night, artnet News reported that Giacometti’s Chariot, auctioned at Sotheby’s Impressionist and modern sale, had just one lone bidder (see: “$101 Million Giacometti Leads Sotheby’s $400 Million Imp Mod Evening Sale“). Anonymous at the time, the buyer turns out to be none other than hedge fund billionaire and mega-collector Steve A. Cohen, according to New York Times.
“It’s one of the great 20th-century sculptures,” said Manhattan art dealer, William Acquavella. “Steve is a very serious, very astute collector. . . He also has just the right instincts, ones that can’t be learned from reading art history books,” Acquavella remarked. Months before the auction, experts predicted there would be a bevy of bidders for Chariot, and the price, they estimated, would most likely soar north of Giacometti’s $104.3 million Walking Man I, which billionaire Lily Safra purchased at Sotheby’s four years ago.
This was not the case. At the sale, Cohen’s bid, placed on his behalf by David Norman, co-chairman of Sotheby’s Impressionist and modern department worldwide, was the one and only for the work.
The leading lot at Christie’s auction the following night (see “$65 Million Manet Leads at Christie’s $165 Million Imp Mod Sale“), was purchased by the J. Paul Getty Museum. Manet’s Le Printemps painting, which was sold well above its high estimate of $35 million, was the last of Manet’s Salon paintings still in private hands. It joins the museum’s notable collection of works by the artist, which include two paintings, a watercolor, and a pastel.
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