(Switzerland 10 Oct 1901–1966)
117.0 x 16.0 x 36.0cm
Purchased by the Art Gallery of New South Wales Foundation in 1994, 'Woman of Venice VII' is the first sculpture by Alberto Giacometti to enter a public art collection in Australia. It is one of nine bronze figures that were created as 'states' of a single figure modelled in clay on a single armature over a period of about three weeks and cast in plaster by the artist's brother, Diego. The hands held at the side of the figure's broad body emphasise the corporeality of the figure and recall Giacometti's early experiments with female spoon-like forms. As in other works in this series the tension created between the heavy wedge-shaped pedestal and the figure's tiny head endows the piece with a sense of the visionary that the artist favoured. The heavily textured quality of this work and original patination make this one of Giacometti's most distinctive and successful female figures. This work perfectly embodies Giacometti's ambivalent attitude towards women whom he idolised but whom he also found suffocating and incomprehensible. 'Woman of Venice VII' encourages the viewer to engage imaginatively with its mysterious subject. Whether we interpret her as a goddess or prostitute, Egyptian cult figure or decomposing corpse, one cannot remain unmoved by Giacometti's powerful interpretation of humanity.
No.5 in an edition of 6.
Edmund Capon (England; Australia, b.1940), Giacometti: sculptures, prints & drawings from the Maeght Fondation, 2006.
'Giacometti in the gallery' by Edmund Capon, pg.24-27, Look Jul 2006, Jul 2006, 24.
'Foundation building' by Michael Wardell, pg.14-17, Look Sep 2004, Sep 2004, 17.
'Moving sculpture, taking the sculpture off the plinth and putting it back in the real world' Tony Bond and Jill Sykes, pg. 29-31, Look Aug 2003, Aug 2003, 29 (colour illus.).
'Getting to the essence' by Bernard Rigby, Look Jun 2001, Jun 2001, 34 (colour illus.).
Bruce James (Australia) (Author), Edmund Capon (England; Australia, b.1940) (Director), Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, Domain, 1999, 67 (colour illus.).
Art Gallery of New South Wales Foundation Annual Report 1997 1997, 1997, 21 (colour illus.).
Architectural Digest Apr 1995, Apr 1995, (illus.). Illustrated in an article on a New York Art Collector
Yves Bonnefoy (France) (Author), Alberto Giacometti: A biography of his work, Paris, 1991, 404 (illus.). cat.no. 381, Private collection. It is not known if this is the AGNSW cast as it is not known which cast is illustrated.
Peter Selz (United States of America, b.1919) (Director), Alberto Giacometti, New York, 1965, 69 (illus.). cat.no. 55, 'Figure from Venice VII', lent by Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York. It is not known for sure if this is the AGNSW cast as it is not known if Pierre Matisse Gallery owned more than one cast at the same time and if so which one was exhibited.
Alberto Giacometti, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 09 Jun 1965–10 Oct 1965.
Alberto Giacometti, The Art Institute of Chicago, 05 Nov 1965–12 Dec 1965.
Alberto Giacometti, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 11 Jan 1966–20 Feb 1966.
Alberto Giacometti, San Francisco Museum of Art, 10 Mar 1966–24 Apr 1966.
Giacometti: sculptures, prints and drawings from the Maeght Foundation, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 18 Aug 2006–22 Oct 2006.
Giacometti: sculptures, prints and drawings from the Maeght Foundation, Christchurch Art Gallery, 17 Nov 2006–25 Feb 2007.