The Easel

12th June 2018

Giacometti: Beguiled by Thin Men and Women

Great though Giacometti’s ‘surrealist’ sculptures were, he was drawn back to the ““thrill and the anxiety” of figuration.” The reviewer finds optimism in these later, gaunt figures. That’s a surprise. A more common view is, as put by another writer “If existentialism was a brand, a Giacometti stick figure would be on the T-shirt”.

At Age 84, Living Legend Sam Gilliam Is Enjoying His Greatest Renaissance Yet

A retrospective in Basel is just the latest in a rush of recognition for Gilliam. After making an impact early in his career, Gilliam’s profile slipped in the absence of gallery representation. Displays at Tate and the Venice Biennale have changed that. A gallerist admits, perhaps a touch defensively, “there’s a cycle … it’s hard to be the focus of everyone’s attention incessantly.”

Giuseppe Penone, Sculpture Park review: these trees really are worth hugging

Not everyone loves this show. Penone has a preoccupation, trees. In his view, they eloquently express the work of time. Some like the works presented but not the above reviewer. “When his weighty philosophical inferences don’t quite connect with the subject they can feel ponderous … [pieces] of rather corny ecological illustration”.