Visit to the Vancouver Art Gallery, September 26, 2019
The Art Appreciation group participated in a fascinating guided tour of the exhibition “Alberto Giacometti: A Line Through Time”. Giacometti (1901-1966) is regarded as one of the most important 20th century sculptors and was also a painter, draftsman and printmaker. He was Swiss but lived most of his life in Paris. Here he was exposed to Cubism and Existentialism, but also to the superb collections of ancient and colonial art on view in Parisian museums. Because photography was recording images of the ‘real’ world, artists were becoming increasingly interested in exploring non-realist art, and were often influenced by ancient art.
This VAG exhibition was presented courtesy of the Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts in the UK. The Sainsburys were art patrons and collectors who acquired (and commissioned) many works of art from Giacometti. They also collected ancient art, so we were able to see sculptures from Ancient Greece, Egypt and Rome, as well as African art. Giacometti certainly drew inspiration from these ancient works of art. Our guide pointed out one of his relatively early sculptures of a female head (of British artist Isabel Rawsthorne) which was strongly reminiscent of ancient sculptures of Nefertiti, the 14th century BCE Egyptian queen.
The exhibition contained many examples of Giacometti’s fascinating paintings and drawings and, best of all, his post-war sculptures. Many of us might recognize the extremely tall, thin, elongated figures of men and women, which speak to the trauma of post World War 2 Europe. These sculptures generally have huge feet, needed to stabilize the tall, thin figures which appear stretched, uneasy, and other worldly, with a strong psychological dimension. They are very expressive, though not ‘realistic’. A superb exhibition!
Our last outing of the season will be to the Rennie Gallery on Pender Street on April 12. One can only visit the Rennie gallery with a tour group such as ours. So, if you are interested, please contact one of the conveners. Our group recently visited the Vancouver Art Gallery, and thoroughly enjoyed the tour of French Modern paintings. The tour leader was outstanding!
The French Modern Exhibition will open in the third week of February at the Vancouver Art Gallery. We will meet for our tour on Thursday, March 7th at 11:00 am. Following the tour, we will have lunch in the Gallery Café.
In March, members of our Art Appreciation Group will have a tour of world-renowned artist Pnina Granirer’s studio. The tour is fully booked, so if you have not already responded you can take advantage of a second tour to be scheduled at a later date.