Suddenly in 1969, de Kooning decided to become a sculptor. He kneaded the clay with energy and passion, creating a turbulent texture reminiscent of Giacometti. His first theme remains his masterpiece as a sculptor : the Clamdigger.
The Clamdigger is searching in sand to extract the shells. His gesture gathers the symbols of creation: sea water, clay, primitive animal, man. It has even been suggested that the Clamdigger by de Kooning is a self-portrait. The texture mimics the lapping waves.
This sculpture 1.51 m high was edited in bronze in 1972 in seven copies plus three artist's proofs. On November 12 in New York, Christie's sells the artist's proof that de Kooning had installed at the entrance to his studio. The statue remained up to now with his descendants. It is estimated $ 25M, lot 21.
I invite you to play the video shared by Christie's.