October 3, 2018 - Fondation Calouste Gulbenkian – Délégation en France - Rui Chafes and Alberto Giacometti: Gris, vide, cris
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October 3, 2018

Fondation Calouste Gulbenkian – Délégation en France

Rui Chafes, Avec rien, 2018. Iron, 130 x 25 x 23 cm. Photo: Alcino Gonçalves. Courtesy of the artist.

Rui Chafes and Alberto Giacometti
Gris, vide, cris
October 3–December 16, 2018

Fondation Calouste Gulbenkian – Délégation en France
39 bd de la Tour-Maubourg
75007 Paris
France
Hours: Wednesday–Monday 9am–6pm,
Saturday–Sunday 11am–6pm

T +33 1 53 85 93 93
calouste@gulbenkian-paris.org

gulbenkian.pt
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Rui Chafes and Alberto Giacometti
Gris, vide, cris
October 3–December 16, 2018

Fondation Calouste Gulbenkian – Délégation en France
39 bd de la Tour-Maubourg
75007 Paris
France
Hours: Wednesday–Monday 9am–6pm,
Saturday–Sunday 11am–6pm

T +33 1 53 85 93 93
calouste@gulbenkian-paris.org

gulbenkian.pt
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Curator: Helena de Freitas

Gris, vide, cris: three words taken from a poem by Alberto Giacometti bring together in this single exhibition two artists separated in space, in time and in the forms of their sculptures. This condition of separation might therefore lead us to question the precise meaning and nature of this act of bringing together. The artists never met: Rui Chafes was born in the year of Giacometti’s death in 1966, and there are no biographical or historical details that compel us to following a model of dialogue. Hence, from its inception, the exhibition has simply been conceived as an encounter.

The idea arose in a moment of clarity, without basis in formal analogy, mimicry or sense of affinity. Through an awareness of the differences between them, but also and especially of the potential resonance between the works of the two artists, the project developed with an investigative energy to explore a territory of images and meanings.

How to arrive from matter to a point of immateriality and transcendence? How to represent the invisible? Alberto Giacometti and Rui Chafes pursue different pathways in this exploration: Giacometti in an exasperated dematerialisation; Rui Chafes pushing the materiality of iron to the limits of imponderability. The tension created by the works of the two sculptors verges on the precipice between ascension and fall.

Without departing from the nature of his own investigation, Rui Chafes facilitates a unique approach to the work of Giacometti, a sensory experience in which silence and solitude come to dominate. To see: it is this verb on which the core of this exhibition turns. To see the invisible.

This exhibition presents 15 works by Alberto Giacometti (11 sculptures and four drawings) and seven sculptures by Rui Chafes, all of which were conceived specifically for this project (with the exception of Larme V, 2015).

Gris, Vide, Cris were the three words that brought together these two sculptors, who thus find themselves, in this space beyond History and Time, venturing the pathways of the night and of the unknown.

 

Rui Chafes
Rui Chafes was born in 1966 in Lisbon, where he currently lives and works. In 1989, he graduated in sculpture from the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Lisbon. From 1990 to 1992, he studied with Gerhard Merz at the Kunstakademie Dusseldorf in Germany. During his stay, he translated the Novalis Fragments from German into Portuguese.

Rui Chafes lays claim to a timeless land and positions himself close to his former masters, including Tilman Riemenschneider, Jacopo della Quercia, Bernini, Novalis and Otto Runge, with whom his complicity is more elective than generational. His sculptures are almost always made from iron, painted black or anthracite, and seek the empty spaces of non-objects.

He has exhibited his work regularly since the 1980s, and began his international career very early on, representing Portugal at the Venice Biennale (in 1995 with José Pedro Croft and Pedro Cabrita Reis) and at the São Paulo Biennial (in 2004, in a project with Vera Mantero). Several of his sculptures can now be found in public spaces, both in Portugal and abroad, and in public collections such as the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum – Modern Collection, the Serralves Foundation and the Centre Pompidou. In 2004, he was awarded the Robert-Jacobsen Sculpture Award from the Würth Foundation in Germany, as well as the Pessoa Prize in Portugal in 2015.

Part of his time is dedicated to writing, translating and editing monographs to accompany his sculptural work.

Alberto Giacometti
Born in 1901 in Stampa, Switzerland, Alberto Giacometti is the son of Giovanni Giacometti, a renowned Post-Impressionist painter. He was introduced to art in his father’s studio, where he created his first artworks aged 14: a still life of apples using oil paints and a sculpted bust of his brother Diego. In 1922, Giacometti left to study in Paris and entered the Académie de la Grande-Chaumière, where he was taught by sculptor Antoine Bourdelle. During this period, he learned the life drawing technique and took an interest in avant-garde compositions, especially Post-Cubist. In 1929, he began a series of flat women, whose novelty brought him attention from the Surrealist artistic community. In 1931, Giacometti joined André Breton’s Surrealist movement. Surrealist themes are significant in his creative work: love and death, a dreamlike vision, objects with symbolic meaning. During this era, he created numerous utilitarian objects for the avant-garde decorator Jean-Michel Frank: lamps, vases, wall lights, etc. From 1935, he distanced himself from the Surrealist group and focused his attention on the question of the human head, which was a central theme of investigation throughout his life.

After spending the wartime years in Switzerland, he resumed his research on the human form upon returning to Paris. His favourite models were those close to him: Annette, his wife since 1949, and Diego, his brother and assistant. Working from life, he aimed to reproduce the models as he saw them, with their ever-changing characteristics. At other times, his figures became anonymous, positioned on plinths which isolated them from the ground, or contained within "cages" sketching out a virtual space. In 1958, he was invited to submit a project for the square at Chase Manhattan Bank in New York. He chose to represent the three motifs which had haunted his work since 1948 in large size: a female figure standing, a man walking and a monumental head. The monument was never actually erected in New York, but Giacometti presented an initial version of the ensemble in bronze at the 1962 Venice Biennale, receiving the Grand Prize for sculpture. Following the success of his retrospectives in Zurich, Basel, London and New York, Alberto Giacometti, weakened by cancer, passed away in January 1966 at Coire Hospital in Switzerland. (Giacometti Foundation, Paris)

 

Talks:
October 18, 7pm: Federico Nicolao, La main dans le vide
November 6, 7pm: Maria Filomena Molder, Un trou dans la neige
More information

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Gris, vide, cris
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