A Brief Note on Giacometti

Theory, Culture and Society 25 (5):20-29 (2008)
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Abstract

Giacometti's work is not comforting. Whether it is seen as driven by abandonment of faith in history, or the surrealist recognition that everything is part of pitiless connection and transmutation, the role of Giacometti's self-understanding in the critical and popular reception of his work is highly significant, and perhaps not sufficiently challenged. Through short discussions of the commentaries on Giacometti's work, by Krauss, Sartre, Sylvester and Danto, and using contrasts with other 20th-century art, it is suggested that the search for the meaning and explanation of the specific creative works in the artist's subjectivity, while very often providing fascinating and invaluable narratives, cannot be taken as an adequate foundation for aesthetic understanding.

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