Giacometti’s transparent constructions, the figures that evoke the core, brought forward by the external events and internal power
Crystallization and the question of existentialism
When I look at Giacometti’s sculptures, the first thing that comes to my mind is the other worldly in us as human beings. At the beginning of his career he would be working so intensely on the medium that from the large chunk of material only small percentage would end up a sculpture. He was almost making a micro world during this time, shaping and reshaping many pieces over and over again. Even revisiting and ultimately destroying many of the earlier works in this process of crystallization.
There is a very interesting symbolism between creation of diamonds and shaping of a human destiny. Both sustain great pressures from outside environment and the density and strength of the outcome could usually depend on the core. In case of humans, this is genetics and internal world, the core which Giacometti in my opinion explored.
Existentialism and the social changes taking place
All the art of the past rises up before me, the art of all ages and all civilizations, everything becomes simultaneous, as if space had replaced time. Memories of works of art blend with affective memories, with my work, with my whole life.
Scholar William Barrett in Irrational Man: A Study in Existential Philosophy (1962), argues that the attenuated forms of Giacometti’s figures reflect the view of 20th century modernism and existentialism that modern life is increasingly empty and devoid of meaning. “All the sculptures of today, like those of the past, will end one day in pieces…So it is important to fashion ones work carefully in its smallest recess and charge every particle of matter with life.”
“The more one works on a picture the more impossible it becomes to finish it.”
The reason why it is so hard to associate Giacometti to any particular movement or even his personal style is because he didn’t believe in the definite. Unlike Picasso, who deconstructed and then reconstructed from the core his subjects, Giacometti reconstructed but without definite structures. His pieces are eternally complete in their incompleteness, thus communicating the ethereal so strongly that it escapes the power of words.
There is a great deference in Artist’s expression before and after the WW II and while he denies the association and influences of the war on his sculptures, it is obvious that like the sculptures which he formed without the preconceived notions as to what would be the final result, the exploration of consciousness, Freud’s psychology, separation, alienation and existential crises were the reality of the first half of the 20th Century. However, he was a believe in life and he insisted that each creature creates their own void as a result actions. This void although unintentional shapes the form of that creature and only the core is left to move and transform helpless to it’s static existence and the inhabiting shell.