Artists' Artists: Joel Shapiro

Alberto Giacometti, Femme egorgée (Woman with her Throat Cut), 1932

Most work, particularly narrative stuff, is explicable. You get it – so what? Nice to see, ho-hum. I continue to look at Woman with her Throat Cut, and it is ever-revealing. Deep, abstract rage. Total collapse. Brutal, yet tender in expression. Splayed out on the ground, it is a deeply disturbing sculpture and difficult to grasp fully. The radicality of the configuration is totally formed by interior thought. The peculiar scale is reinforced by the eye’s distance from the work, which perhaps reflects Giacometti’s own ambivalence to this terrifying and problematic subject. This is a prescient work and lays out much of what is to come.

Joel Shapiro lives in New York, USA. He has recently had solo exhibitions at Pace London, UK, Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Switzerland, and the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, USA. He will have a solo exhibition at Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, USA, in the winter of 2018.

Issue 6

First published in Issue 6

October 2017

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