New York

Alberto Giacometti

Acquavella Galleries

This exhibition of Alberto Giacometti’s sculptures and paintings from 1926 to 1965 made clear that from the mid ’30s on Giacometti embraced the notion that art was an expression of human experience rather than a construction of autonomous objects with their own internal logic. Even though such famous Surrealist works as Woman with Her Throat Cut, 1932, and The Invisible Object (Hands Holding the Void), 1934, are clearly figurative and vigorously expressive—the former of a fearful hatred of woman, the latter of an ironic worship—they are still abstract constructions before they are expressive figures. Disagreeable Object to be Thrown Away, 1931, makes the point succinctly: though it can be read as the vestige of a female torso—the residue of an act of violence against the phallic mother—it is ultimately an eccentric, abstract shape.

Then, suddenly, with sculptures like the Bust of Isabelle

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