Alberto Giacometti - Toward the Ultimate Figure Cleveland Museum of Art March 11, 2022
The latest exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Art is called Alberto Giacometti - Toward the Ultimate Figure.
The exhibition Alberto Giacometti: Toward the Ultimate Figure gathers an ensemble of masterpieces focusing on the artist's major achievements of the postwar years (1945-66). Combining all media-sculpture, painting, and drawing-the show of 60 works draws upon the deep resources of the artist's personal collection and examines a central, animating aspect of his oeuvre: his extraordinary, singular concern for the human figure. Co-organized by the Fondation Giacometti in Paris and the Cleveland Museum of Art, the exhibition will also be presented at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Seattle Art Museum; and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. So we are very fortunate to have it here in Cleveland and first.
Watch a short video tour of the Giacometti Exhibition
Giacometti (1901-1966)was one of the most important sculptors of the 20th century. His work was particularly influenced by artistic styles such as Cubism and Surrealism. While Giacometti was a key player in the Surrealist art movement, his work resists easy categorization. Some describe it as formalist, others argue it is expressionist or something else. To my layman's eyes it is very unique - and interesting.
The Cage by Giacometti
If you are expecting typical sculptures of people that look just like them, you will be surprised. Giacometti is best known for the bronze sculptures of tall, thin human figures that often look emaciated.
Giacometti once said that he was sculpting not the human figure but "the shadow that is cast".
So when you look at this sculpture called Woman of Venice from the front it's so thin that you hardly see anything.
But when you go to the side you see much more.
Or how about this called Tall Thin Head from 1954? Here it is from the front - hardly able to see anything.
But when you move to the side you see this.
That's one really big reason to visit the exhibition in person if you can rather than looking at photos. Almost everything is set up so you can walk around all sides of the sculptures.
Here are a few of my favorites to give you a taste.
The Glade from 1950 has 9 very thin women figures in an opening in a forest, a glade.
The Glade by Giacometti
The Forest by Giacometti is similar. It has 7 elongated women figures when you look at it from the front.
The Forest by Giacometti
When you move a little you will see the head of a man in the back right.
The Standing Woman is the biggest piece in the exhibition. She is about 8' 11" tall
Standing Woman by Giacometti
My second favorite is Walking Man. He's almost 6' tall.
Walking Man by Giacometti
I think my favorite is The Nose from 1947-49. Notice the head is in a cage but that long nose sticks out. The mouth is open as if screaming in torment.
The Nose by Giacometti
This is a unique and fun exhibit. I concentrated on the sculptures in this visit but there are paintings and drawings as well. I learned a lot and expect I will learn more on my next visit.
Tickets can also be reserved by phone at 216-421-7350 or on-site at one of the ticket desks.
I have to add that when you visit the exhibition you will get a large, illustrated catalog written by internationally recognized scholars at the Fondation Giacometti and curators of the museums. It's definitely worth a visit.