Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Giacometti and the Etruscans

Giacometti's "Tall Standing Woman I"

"The Shadow of the Evening," an Etruscan statue from approximately 350-300 B.C."

"Showing Alberto Giacometti's best-known works — "Walking Man," "Tall Standing Woman," and the "Woman of Venice" series — alongside the art of an ancient culture dating to 900 B.C. comes as a bit of a curatorial surprise. But that is just what the Pinacothèque is doing, in "Giacometti and the Etruscans," a new show of 30 sculptures by the Swiss artist and over 150 Etruscan objects that runs through January 8.
One work in particular provides an essential link between the ancient civilization and the modern existentialist work of Giacometti: "The Shadow of the Evening," a small bronze statue that probably dates to the Hellenistic period and depicts a very young man with a slender, elongated body, as if stretched upwards to the divine. It's an enigmatic figure — does it represent an offering, a person making an offering, or a god? The resemblance between this thin, intense, and fragile figure from so long ago and Giacometti's "Walking Man" is incredibly striking."

"Giacometti saw the statue in Tuscany in the early 1960s and was fascinated by it — an interest that began when he visited an exhibition of Etruscan art at the Louvre in 1955. The exhibition includes notes that Giacometti took on the Louvre show — scribbling on the catalogue, covering it with little sketches, and scattering drawings of warriors on the map of Etruria. Could Giacometti have found some kind of ideal synthesis of humanity in this stripped-down, emaciated figure and the smiling, voluptuous bodies on the Etruscan tombs?"

Full article at ArtInfo