Le Nez

Fondation Giacometti -  Le Nez

Strongly influenced by tribal sculpture, the irregularly modeled head has a bright red tongue as an extension of the neck, while the nose itself, adorned with a painted spiral, follows a parallel horizontal line. Suspended at mid-height by a thread, the decapitated head hangs over a white plaster base that strongly delimits the space of the cage, pierced by the tip of the nose. The primitive aspect of the work is reinforced by the way the head is suspended - a piece of rope too long tied to a bar simply resting on the top of the cage.

The second version of Nose, is very different, she evolved in several documented incarnation until its casting in bronze in 1964.

The origin of this new version is not known precisely. It is probably the result of Giacometti's combined desire to rework the piece and his wish (as he expresses it to Pierre Matisse) to have other pieces cast from New York before casting them in bronze.

A photograph of Richard Winther, taken in May 1948, shows a cubic metal cage, from which hangs a head with a closed mouth and painted eyes and ears, more realistic, more compact. A 1949 drawing shows a head with eyes and ears and a mouth that draws its tongue.

We can see the final version of the head on anonymous photos taken in the artist's studio in 1950. The mouth is wide open without tongue. The ears and eyes are gone. The cage is still the same metal frame without feet or pedestal that in 1948.

Another version of the Nose was photographed by Paul Facchetti in the studio in 1956. At that time, Giacometti had once again changed the cage, giving it a rectangular shape and a flat plaster base. Yet it is another cage, narrower with long feet that was exposed to the Maeght Foundation in 1964.

In 1964 for the Maeght Foundation, he shortened the legs of the cage and added small round feet, anchoring it even more in the ground. These successive changes are emblematic of Giacometti's endless search for the right height and the relation of the work to the visitor, but also of the relation between the space defined by the cage and what it contains.



Tate Publishing, London, Fondation Giacometti, Paris, 2017

Language: English

304 p.
21 x 26 cm
24,99 £

ISBN 978-1-84976-504-6 (Hardcover)
ISBN 978-1-84976-460-5 (Softcover)

To search for a work, consult the Alberto Giacometti Database