Points of view

Giacometti @ Guggenheim: an exhibition not to be missed

18.03.2019 | By PAOLO BOCCHI

8 June – 12 September 2018


The works of Alberto Giacometti, exhibited in that sort of “museum roundabout” that is the Guggenheim in New York, appear even more fascinating, spiritual and metaphysical.

On the occasion of this exhibition, art marries architecture, reaching new peaks

Alberto Giacometti once said:
“Just so you know, it’s impossible to finish a portrait. Once upon a time portraits were finished, and they necessarily had to be, because they replaced photographs; but today, they no longer make sense. I can only try to make one, a portrait. But it’s impossible”
Giacometti said this sentence while he was painting the last portrait, the portrait of James Lord. At the end of which, practically, he died.
Giacometti constantly sought, in a cerebral way, the elsewhere, the absolute, the essence.
For this reason, Giacometti’s works are timeless: metaphysical, spiritual, absolute.

This is why, his works, placed along the downhill ramp of the Guggenheim in New York, seem to have been always there, and will be forever; at the same time visible and invisible presences that, every so often, when they feel like it, show themselves to the eyes of ordinary mortals, to question them, without any mercy, on the meaning of their earthly existence.
Giacometti and portraits, on canvas or in the form of three-dimensional statues; statues so thin that they sometimes look like transparent souls in a physically human form, like tangible traces of an earthly passage carried out by angels in search of divine resurrection.

Un post condiviso da Guggenheim Museum (@guggenheim) in data:

Giacometti explores and lets emerge the most difficult part of the human being to probe: the abyss of the unconscious.

Giacometti works on emptiness, distance, isolation.

Giacometti derided Picasso, drank with Sartre and walked arm in arm with Beckett.

And when he returned to his studio, he questioned himself: “how do you represent human existence?”

To such a difficult question, worthy answers are needed. Keeping things light, one could say that perhaps this is why Giacometti’s human figures have such long legs!

And here they are, the statues by Giacometti, in New York, inside the Guggenheim Museum (designed, as if it were an “American garage for contemporary art”, by that genius of architecture that was Frank Lloyd Wright): they seem to walk up and down through the museum, silhouetted against the white of the curved walls, as inhabitants, sculpted, who wander without a destination, in a circle, philosophically rapt in solitary meditations without time nor end.

Alberto Giacometti, 1901-1966, was a Swiss-Italian artist, who dedicated his entire life to his work.

This year the big apple dedicates an important and beautiful exhibition to him until September 12th.

These are the words of the Guggenheim Museum in this regard:

The present exhibition is the first major museum presented to the Swiss-born artist in the United States in more than 15 years.

Giacometti is curated by Megan Fontanella, Curator, Modern Art and Provenance,

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and Catherine Grenier, Director, The Fondation Giacometti”.