Neue Nationalgalerie

Cult of the Artist: Giacometti, the Egyptian

29 Oct 2008 - 15 Feb 2009

© Alberto Giacometti
legendSelbstbildnis 1921, Öl auf Leinwand, 82,5 x 72 cm
© Alberto Giacometti-Stiftung, Zürichend

29 October 2008 - 15 February 2009
Altes Museum, Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung

Ancient Egyptian art reflected in the work of a giant of the art of the modern day - this exhibition will open up new perspectives to us by drawing our gaze away from the iconological mode of viewing the works towards more formal essentials, thus allowing us to take a peek at the artist behind the work. The Ancient Egyptians exerted an intense fascination over Alberto Giacometti, a fascination which was to last over several decades. Countless drawings of Egyptian originals (among them also artefacts from the Berlin collection) bear witness to this fact, as well as that Giacometti came to mention Egypt time and again in his writings and in the interviews he gave.
It is above all else his visualization of space through pictorial means that shows his affinity to the Ancient Egyptians, whose art so much inspired him. What interested him the most thereby was the figurative approach of the artist, who he (taking a stance which directly opposed the commonly held view of Egyptologists) saw not as anonymous, but as an individual and someone who had wrestled with form and style no less than he himself had. Now integrated into the sculpture halls of the Egyptian Museum's permanent exhibition, works by Giacometti from the Sammlung der Alberto Giacometti-Stiftung in Zurich invite visitors to listen in to a dialogue between artists as they communicate with each other in a common language of forms which traverses several millennia. By being placed in this context, Giacometti's work reveals how steadfastly rooted in the past it is, as well as allowing the art of the Ancient Egyptians to once again exude an extraordinary freshness and relevance. Maurizio Nannucci's ALL ART HAS BEEN CONTEMPORARY which hangs on the outside of the museum can be taken as an appropriate invitation to ‘Giacometti, the Egyptians'.
The exhibition is the result of a joint project with the Alberto Giacometti-Stiftung and the Kunsthaus Zurich, where it will also go on show in a reduced form from 27 February to 24 May 2009.

Tags: Alberto Giacometti, Maurizio Nannucci