Cézanne & Giacometti: Paths of Doubt
Text by Felix Baumann, Tobia Bezzola, Inken Freudenberg, Donat Rütimann, Poul Erik Třjner.
Though they were born 62 years and hundreds of miles apart, synchronicities between Paul Cézanne and Alberto Giacometti continue to arise. Called “father of us all” by Pablo Picasso, the French Post-Impressionist Cézanne is widely regarded as the artistic bridge between Impressionism and Modernism, and he was highly influential to Giacometti, the Swiss sculptor known for his Surrealistic, elongated human forms of the 1940s, 50s and 60s. The subtitle of this volume, Paths of Doubt, refers in part to both artists’ refusal of the movements by which they were embraced: in Cézanne’s case, Impressionism, and in Giacometti’s, Surrealism. Doubt also alludes to Cézanne’s late success. His legendarily bad social skills led him from the artistic hub of 1870s Paris to the French countryside, where he lived as a recluse, only attracting attention for his work when he was in his late fifties. Giacometti, conversely, found early success with the Surrealists but broke off from them in the late 40s when he began making more realistic black figurative sculptures. His doubt surfaced in statements like these: “If I could make a sculpture or a painting (but I'm not sure I want to) in just the way I'd like to, they would have been made long since (but I am incapable of saying what I want). Oh, I see a marvelous and brilliant painting, but I didn't do it, nobody did it. I don't see my sculpture, I see blackness.” This unique volume sheds light on Giacometti’s stylistic allusions to Cézanne and finds surprising corollaries between the two masters’ lives and work.