Man Pointing was made very rapidly for Giacometti’s first exhibition in New York. He recalled: ‘I did that piece in one night between midnight and nine the next morning. That is, I’d already done it, but I demolished it and did it all over again because the men from the foundry were coming to take it away. And when they got here, the plaster was still wet.’ It was originally intended to be part of a larger composition, with the left arm positioned loosely around a second figure. Giacometti later abandoned the idea, and considered Man Pointing to be a complete work.