Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York
Acquired from the above in 1962
Alberto Giacometti Database no. 1485
Figurine is a richly modeled bronze example of one of the key motifs of Giacometti's art - the standing female figure. This sharply contoured cast, which is marked 1 from an edition of 6, was acquired by the family of the present owner directly from the artist's New York dealer, Pierre Matisse. Standing at nearly 45 centimeters high, the present sculpture is closely related to a larger version of a standing figure, measuring approximately 78 centimeters in height, that Giacometti also completed the same year.
Throughout the 1940s and up until his death in 1966, Giacometti created several variations of a lone nude woman, her long, lean body anchored with heavy block feet to a base and frozen in time. In its many sculptural incarnations, this image highlights the dramatic contours of the body and the power of a single gesture. With its multiple and conflicting thematic connotations of stoicism, resilience, passivity, strength and vulnerability, it embodies the Existentialist concerns of many artists and intellectuals working in post-war Paris.
Created in 1961 at the height of Giacometti's international acclaim, the present sculpture followed from the series of Giacometti's Femmes de Venise, which made their debut at the Venice Biennale in 1956. After his success at the Biennale, Giacometti continued to develop the theme of standing female figures, elongating and accentuating the feminine curvature of the body and challenging the limits of the malleability and manipulation of his bronze figures. His exploration of this theme culminated in 1960 with his Grandes femmes, which were intended as part of a project for Chase Manhattan Plaza in New York City, followed by the present sculpture, which was to be one of his last modelings of this subject.
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