alberto giacometti gesture drawings
After his formative years at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière (1922–6), Giacometti rejected working from the model and used drawing as an exercise accompanying the development of his thinking. Alongside the preparatory sketches in his many notebooks, drawn mainly in pencil, he also made separate drawings on individual sheets that he reprised carefully in his works in pen and ink. In his notebooks he also made numerous sketches of his existing works, from memory. These inaugurated his singular practice of ‘retrospective’ drawing, made famous by his 1947 Lettre à Pierre Matisse. This would remain a part of the artist’s ongoing reflection and discourse on his work right up to the end of his career.
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Giacometti – Nude
Giacometti – gesture drawing
G’s sudden reality of death – themes of death and sexuality are crucial to his work. Seeing no relationship between objects, purely separated by insuperable abyss of emptiness – his figures seem to be ascending to heaven (ascension or assumption showing a hidden emaciation concealing a soft physical roundness – ” a complete woman, ever endangered on this earth, and yet not entirely of this earth; a woman who lives, and who tells us of the astounding adventure of the flesh our own adventure.” p11 Jean-Paul Satre ‘La recherché de l’absolul’, in Les Temps modernes, Jan’1948 p1156 adapted from the English translation, ‘The search for the Absolute’, Exhibition of Sculptures, Paintings, Drawings, New York, Pierre Matisse Gallery 1948, p6.
Seated Figure -158 – Derriere Le Miroir Derriere Le Miroir – 1961
Print – Lithograph 15” x 11”
Giacometti’s studio was located in Paris at 46 rue Hippolyte Maindron, off of the rue d’Alésia. He worked there from 1927 until his death in 1965. This lithograph was created during a period in which Giacometti, Swiss born artist, created works reflecting placidness, understatement, and stability of composition, ultimately giving rise to an atmosphere of serenity. Despite the manifest tranquility, rapid execution is suggested by the ease taken in creating the loose lines. Giacometti was accustomed to drawing with lithographic crayon on transfer paper rather than on stone, a technique that created works which resembled crayon drawing. This technique preserved every line Giacometti put down since this particular method made it impossible to erase lines.
In 1962, Szapocznikow was offered a solo show in the Polish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. The following year she moved to Paris  where she became friends with the art critic and founder of the Nouveau Réalisme movement, Pierre Restany. Back in Paris, Szapocznikow started to produce casts of her breasts, stomach, and legs. Working mainly in bronze and stone, Szapocznikow’s early artistic production constitutes the first materially documented trace of her own embodiment. In 1963, the artist began to combine fragmented body parts with revolutionary sculpting materials including polyester and polyurethane. Such technical innovation allowed Szapocznikow to immortalize a personal language informed by her exposure to death in childhood, traumatic memories of the Holocaust, as well as witnessing the premature collapse of her own body due to tuberculosis.
Szpocznikow and her mother stayed at the camp for a total of 10 months, before being moved from the camp. According to documentation from their stay, the change in internment in autumn of 1943 was due to Szapocznikow’s mother scolding of a German doctor who “did not acquit himself well of his duties.”  By autumn 1943, the familial pair was moved to Terezin where they stayed together for one more year before ultimately being separated.  The artist’s experiences during the end of the war are unknown. After the war, Szapocnikow headed to Prague with a group of prisoners while her mother returned to Łódź . 
The film’s first half—Weyergraf’s questions in German, the workers’ answers in German with white English-language subtitles against a black screen—evens out all the responses (only her voice is distinguished) to create an allover collage of experience, hewing as close to the truth of a situation as one possibly can in montage-based film. “If I had more money, I’d spend it on my hobby: gardening and rabbit-breeding.” “Well, what is freedom exactly? Freedom would be there only if I had enough money to live freely. Whether I’d be free then, I don’t know.” There’s a brute matter-of-factness to the workers’ responses that transfers over to the second half, in which Serra wields the camera around the factory and radically respects the space à la Akerman or Warhol. Garbled German orders sometimes fly out of the din of the factory, but otherwise the soundtrack is dominated by a harsh buzzsaw/flametorch drone—the punishing sounds that render the workers nearly deaf. Though it’s clear that the filmmakers are gravely concerned for the day-to-day grind of these laborers, this concern isn’t spelled out in hectoring, pity-please tones—a restraint made apparent by the film’s lack of Soviet-type cutting into the space, no voiceover, no factoids about the Ruhr Valley mill. It has the look of a documentary, but little context is given to sway us into feeling one way or another about these images. This was an intentional effect: in his 1979 interview with Michelson, Serra noted that “if a film is made about [workers], there is a narration explaining to the class that is in the film what they are doing in a way that is beneficial to the union, or the administration, or the power that is funding the film. So most documentaries flagrantly support the status quo, thereby keeping the worker oppressed, or they function as advertisements for the class that wants to sell the products to the class that is dying making them.” 16
The presentation of Serra’s films in such a setting is important to establish, but only insofar as it highlights the unique bodily demands they made on viewers who first encountered them. In the past—usually at the expense of what occurs in the films—some critics have tried to link the experience, material concerns, or aesthetic boundaries of these works to those of Serra’s best-known practice, sculpting. Serra himself has been adamant in his hostility toward such connections: “I did not extend sculptural problems into film or video. I began to make sculptures, film, and video at about the same time, so it can’t be a question of developing one form into the other. My involvement with different media is based on the recognition of the different material capacities and it is nonsense to think that film or video can be sculptural.” 9