“Tall Figure IV”

 

Albert Giacometti, "Tall Figure IV" 1960, bronze.
Albert Giacometti, “Tall Figure IV” 1960, bronze.

Here’s another from my visit to the Norton Simon the other day, and one of my favorite sculptors from the modern era. I was first introduced to Giacometti’s work when I was in design school at FIDM. I can’t even recall the class, but we viewed a short animated film in which his sculptures comes to life to comfort him from his nightmares. It never left me. The connection he had with his work – their sentinel-like presence, their ubiquity, their anonymity, their intimacy. Born in the Italian speaking part of Switzerland, these tall lithe (albeit strange) guardians are found later in the artists ouevre, and are his reaction to the terrors of World War II. They are Easter Island, Ancient Greece, tumultuous 20th century Europe, and the future, all rolled into one. Of his work, Giacometti said: “I am interested in the head from the brains down. In my sculpture I make the head the fort of the mind. The legs are only the mind’s antenna to earth.” Lovely.

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