The works of Alberto Giacometti constitute a great pillar of the Louisiana Collection. The museum’s large collection of his original sculptures – large even from an international perspective – interplay in an almost miraculous way with Bo and Wohlert’s architecture. The two-floor Gallery, which contains most of the major figures, was not originally built for the purpose, but it feels as though they have “come home” here.
WOUNDS AND SCARS
Alberto Giacometti (1901-66) is considered one of the most influential and significant artists of the twentieth century.
He lived and created his art in Switzerland, Italy and France, and although he has been linked to Surrealism, Formalism and Expressionism, he was unmistakably an individual unto himself.
Writing in his book 'Louisiana abc' museum director Poul Erik Tøjner calls Giacometti “an apostle of laboriousness”. An artist who destroyed one study after another, corrected them, started all over again and again and almost tormented the life of his models – but only rarely gave up:
“In his pieces, we can follow the traces of his work, the wounds and scars of battle. This also contributes invariably to the fascination many people feel with Giacometti. We are allowed to see the process.”
On the way through the North Wing to the Giacometti Gallery, Louisiana guests encounter two important works from his Surrealist period, namely Spoon Woman and Walking Woman. In the Gallery itself, on the other hand (and in the small “sketches” behind glass in the wall by the Children’s Wing), await the more mature Giacometti and the sculptures that appear at once both strangely modern and very, very old-fashioned.
The figures draw upon a tradition, writes Poul Erik Tøjner in the book 'Louisiana abc', that goes all the way back to the Etruscans or resemble something that been through the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, thus also creating associations with people in a post-nuclear wasteland:
“There is therefore something deeply archaic about their presence in a contemporary museum, but at the same time they have a brutally modern expression when it comes to human existence.”