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Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Head/Skull

Artist:
Alberto Giacometti (Swiss, Borgonovo 1901–1966 Chur)
Date:
1934
Medium:
Plaster
Dimensions:
Height: 7 1/4 in. (18.4 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
Gift of Estate of Sylvia Slifka, 2004
Accession Number:
2004.209
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Not on view
Best known for the sculptures of attenuated and often isolated standing and walking figures he produced from the 1940s onward, Giacometti began his artistic exploration of existentially fraught subjects in the previous decade with works such as Head/Skull. Here, he reimagines the ephemeral human skull in a fixed, crystalline form, replacing the curvature of the head with flat planes and sharp facets to evoke the fleeting nature of life. The artist’s interest in psychologically disruptive imagery tied his work to the movement known as Surrealism.
Sylvia Slifka, New York (until d. 2003; her estate, 2003–4; her bequest to MMA)

E. Tériade. "Aspects actuels de l'expression plastique." Minotaure no. 5 (December 15, 1934), ill. p. 42 (unknown cast), calls it "Téte d’homme".

Reinhold Hohl. Alberto Giacometti: A Retrospective Exhibition. Exh. cat., Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. New York, 1974, pp. 40, 73, no. 35, ill. (not this cast), calls it "Cubist Head (Tête cubiste)".

Valerie J. Fletcher. Alberto Giacometti, 1901–1966. Exh. cat., Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Washington, D. C., 1988, pp. 32, 65, 106 under no. 22.

Sabine Rewald in "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 2004-2005." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 63 (Fall 2005), p. 40, ill.



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