The Clearing, Place, nine figures, 1950
The sculptures: La Place (Composition, three figures and a head), The Forest (Place, seven figures, a head, La Clairière (The Clearing) (Composition with nine figures), were all created during summer 1950 and initially called Places. They all represent immobile characters with similar sizes and are reminiscent of the Places from 1948.
“During March and April 1950, I made three figures each day (sketches) with different sizes and heads. I stopped without having achieved exactly what I set out to, but was unable to destroy the figures which were still stood upright at that time and also to leave them isolated and lost in space. I started by making a composition with three figures and a head, a composition that almost happened in spite of myself (or rather it was formed before I thought of it) but almost immediately afterwards I wanted things that were not as rigid yet was not able to see how to create them: A few days later, in looking at the other figures which, to clear the table, were placed here and there on the floor, I saw that they formed two groups that I felt corresponded to what I was looking for. I assembled the two groups on bases without making any changes, and then I worked on the figures, I never changed their place nor their size. To my surprise, the composition with nine figures seemed to create the feeling experienced the previous autumn of the view of a clearing (it was more a slightly wild meadow, with trees and shrubs, at the edge of the forest) which I found very appealing. I wanted to paint it, to make something of it and I left regretting losing it…”. (A.G., 1950, Letter to Pierre Matisse, in Ecrits, op. cit., 1990, p. 58).
Alberto Giacometti (1901 - 1966)
Aimé Maeght was his art dealer. The artist’s first exhibition was presented at the Galerie Maeght in Paris in 1951. Working with Aimé and Marguerite Maeght, Alberto Giacometti would donate exceptional works, from the first works with surrealist influence until works at the end of his life in the 60s. The Foundation possesses the largest collection of the artist in Europe, with the Zurich Kunsthaus and the Fondation Giacometti in Paris.