Wednesday 11 November 2015

Giacometti Pure Presence at NPG

 On Monday afternoon  I used my new ' National Art Pass' for the first time,  visiting the Giacometti exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.    I've got more interested in portraiture over the last few months,   ( the display at the Whitworth was intriguing even if the labelling  was infuriating!) Also , examples of  drawings by Giacometti  were referred to several times in my City Lit course  along with other artists in relation  to the use of line  to  explore and build up a sense of shape and volume ( and the 'ghosts' of rubbed out drawings  adding richness ).

There have been lots of  very favourable reviews  about this  exhibition  but  I wasn't prepared for how moving   it was. Showing artwork from a very early age, drawing his  close family over decades again and again,  you could feel how he  used drawing  not only to look  intently but to  try and capture  life.  It was intensely personal yet universal.

Among my favourites were the drawings of his mother, particularly the one above , on loan from MOMA.  The connection of  lines to from the  body to the room  draw you in, linking the subject to their surroundings ( as well as being an excellent lesson in perspective!) . There was also a lovely , loving painting of her knitting.
 It was touching to see the  work   recording his brother Diego from childhood onwards, again I like the ones that set the subject in their surroundings, in this painting  a bed in the studio. Of the sculptures, the one  above, in 2 flattened planes, was the one  I returned to several times.    

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