Nature morte aux fleurs, 1954
Signed and dated lower right 'Alberto Giacometti 1954'
Pencil on paper
19 3/8 x 12 3/8 in, 49.3 x 31.5 cm
‘Nature morte aux fleurs’ was created in 1954 at a seminal point in Giacometti’s career. Between 1953 and 1955 Giacometti perfected his draftsmanship, producing some of his most revered sketches....
‘Nature morte aux fleurs’ was created in 1954 at a seminal point in Giacometti’s career. Between 1953 and 1955 Giacometti perfected his draftsmanship, producing some of his most revered sketches. In 1954 Galerie Maeght compiled an exhibition of Giacometti’s drawings – largely produced in that year - which is considered one of the greatest exhibitions of drawings by a living modernist artist. ‘Nature morte aux fleurs’, may well have been included in this exhibition alongside other studio drawings. Jean Paul-Satre wrote of Giacometti’s innovative style in an essay for the magazine Derrière le miroir, which accompanied the exhibition. Satre stated that Giacometti was a ‘man who created distance that only makes sense in a human space’ for he ‘frames his characters: they keep an imaginary distance from us, but they live in a closed space that imposes their own distance’.
This drawing shows Giacometti’s fascination with space and physicality. ‘Nature morte aux fleurs’ is composed of strong vertical lines that fix the objects in space. By framing the flowers within the drawing Giacometti situates them in a defined space, thus asserting their physicality. Through erasing the pencil lines in such a deliberate manner Giacometti gives space its own plasticity and presence in a flux of give and take. Giacometti signals movement through these overlaying erasures that reveal what was previously there. Whilst this drawing is not directly sculptural in its form, it derives from the same artistic goal: to bring inanimate objects to life.
Giacometti was once credited by Lucian Freud with the invention of ‘a whole new tribe of people’. Although most well known for his sculptures, he was also a great painter and draftsman, shifting easily between mediums. His drawings remain an integral part of his oeuvre. This particular work was in the collection of Walter Bareiss, the highly distinguished businessman and collector, whom was once interim director of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Galerie Maeght, Paris
Walter Bareiss, New York
Jan Krugier Gallery, New York
Yoshii Gallery, New York
Private Collection, New York (acquired from the above)
Munich, Neue Staatsgalerie, Sammlung Walter Bareiss, Summer 1965
This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity issued by the Comité Giacometti in December 2016 and is registered in the Fondation Alberto et Annette Giacometti in the online Alberto Giacometti Database (AGD) under number 3695