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Alberto Giacometti

Tall Figure II and Tall Figure III

both 1960

For Alberto Giacometti, conventional questions of sculpture—mass and proportion—were subservient to questions of distance and totality of vision. In a quest to articulate his unique perception, he elongated his works, producing tall thin totemic figures that struck a cord with many mid-twentieth-century viewers, who saw in them a metaphor for modern existence. Tall Figure II and Tall Figure III were conceived for the Chase Manhattan Bank in New York City as part of a multi-figure outdoor sculpture. Although only intending to use one of each in the final composition (which, because of his death, was never finished), Giacometti made seven plasters: four women, two men, and one head. These bronze standing women average nine feet tall and have an unsettling rigidity, hands at their sides and feet fixed to their solid bases.

Alberto Giacometti (b. 1901, Borgonovo, Switzerland; d. 1966, Chur, Switzerland)
Tall Figure II and Tall Figure III, both 1960
Bronze
109 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 21 3/4 in. and 93 x 10 3/4 x 20 1/2 in.
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
The Rita and Taft Schreiber Collection, given in loving memory of her husband, Taft Schreiber, by Rita Schreiber

What is important is to create an object capable of conveying the sensation as close as possible to the one felt at the sight of the subject. —Alberto Giacometti