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Tall Figure IV, 1960

Alberto Giacometti

Swiss, 1901-1966
Bronze, Edition of 6, Cast No. 1
106-1/2 x 12 x 22 in. (270.5 x 30.5 x 55.9 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation
M.1965.1.S
Art © 2014 Alberto Giacometti Estate/Licensed by VAGA and ARS, New York, NY Reproduction, including downloading of ARS works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

On view

Although Giacometti had made his name as a member of the Surrealist circle during the 1920s and 1930s, in the wake of the Second World War, his work took an abrupt turn as he began producing the gaunt, elongated figures for which he is best remembered today. Describing his postwar approach, the sculptor remarked, “All is transformed into a tensely stretched form which always seems to me a kind of extremely restrained violence.” Giacometti nevertheless rejected speculation that seemingly starved, charred bodies like the one depicted here were intended as a response to recently published photographs of concentration-camp victims. He pointed instead to ancient Egyptian funerary sculpture—hieratic figures, frozen midstride—as the prime source of inspiration for his monumental revenants.

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