Zagreb has had the immense pleasure of hosting exhibitions from some of the greatest sculptors of the 20th century in 2016 thanks to Art Pavilion’s new cycle of exhibitions bearing the same title (Greatest sculptors of the 20th century). After excellent exhibitions of works from Miró and Rodin, we have the pleasure of seeing Albert Giacometti’s iconic art here in Zagreb.
Most of the art, sculptures, lithographs and drawings, was borrowed from the Maeght foundation and features Giacometti’s best works, in effect some of the greatest art produced in the last century.
Giacometti’s sculptures, known as thin people, are characterized by rough, almost rusty, surfaces, while their elongated torsos, heads, legs and hands are reduced to the strictest depictions one could make, almost to the point of breaking. It telegraphs its metaphors clearly from the first view, letting you know that the artist depicted a human existence without joy or meaning. It’s a result of a long standing friendship with Jean-Paul Sartre and his existential philosophy’s influence on the sculptor. Even though Giacometti claimed he took no account for the philosophical implications of his work while creating it, it is undeniably there, even more so today then before, with existential questions breaking through the cracks of hailed freedom of consumption societies of the West, and even more dire and concrete ones, questions of pure survival, in the war torn East.
That is why, say the organizers, the exhibition was set up in adherence to the moment Croatia and Europe find themselves today, thus the title Portraits of Today. The sculptures featured are from the series Woman of Venice – nine monumental sculptures the artist first presented at the 1956 Biennial of Contemporary Art in Venice, after which he gained global popularity, and L’Homme qui marche I (The man that walks I), his grand masterpiece. It is also the most expensive sculpture in the world, being sold a few years ago for the incredible sum of 104 million dollars at a Sotheby’s aution.
The exhibition opens September 20th and will last until January 8th 2017 at Art Pavilion (Umjetnički paviljon), Kralja Tomislava square 22.