Alberto Giacometti and Paysage de Majola

January 8, 2021

During the 20th century, modernist movements’ representation of the human form shifted from the lauded classical execution taught in academia to probing exploration into psychological, existential, and phenomenological of the subject and the viewer. One of the keynote artists to delve into such depths was Swiss-born Alberto Giacometti. His sculptures, paintings, and prints have been collected internationally and are held in major museums including MoMA, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Walker Art Center, The Art Institute of Chicago, SFMoMA, LACMA, and Tate Modern.

Alberto Giacometti, 31st Biennale, Venice 1962.

Giacometti is best revered as a sculptor, setting auctions records for works such as L'Homme au doigt (Pointing Man or Man Pointing), 1947 and L’Homme qui marche I (The Walking Man I) selling for $141.3 million in 2015 and L’Homme qui marche I (The Walking Man I) selling for $104.3 million in 2010. Even more so, he became accomplished in other artistic mediums including painting and drawing, being quoted, “When I make my drawings, the path tread by my pencil on the sheet of paper is to some extent, analogous of a man groping his way through the darkness”.

Paysage de Majola, Oil on Canvas, 1953, Held in a Private Collection

Within the scope of being a sculptor, he developed a full sense of agency as a draftsman, with the held belief that drawing was a central attribute to an artist. Payasge de Majola is  based on a canvas piece (bearing the same title) during his painterly exploration. Within the painting and the colored lithograph depicting a viewpoint of his grandparents’ and parents’ terra madre, the viewer at first catches one muted line, only to find oneself tracing along the entangled lines to construct the image. The execution is part systematic, part calligraphic, and investigative as the viewer and the artist attempt to gain knowledge in the subject matter through the line-tracing process of forms in space.

Color lithographs of Paysage de Majola are in many public collections including Des Moines Art Center.

Paysage de Majola, Color Lithograph, 1954
Available on iGavel Auctions until January 14, 2021