An important exhibition which brings together for the first time works by Alberto Giacometti with those by Lucio Fontana, Richard Serra and Cy Twombly will go on show at Gagosian Gallery, Britannia Street.
Working directly with the Alberto and Annette Giacometti Foundation, Paris, a number of outstanding works by Giacometti have been selected for the exhibition including Femme de Venise III and three Têtes d'homme (Lotar I, II, and III) which depict the former avant-garde photographer Eli Lotar. These works have been chosen for their interaction with space and light; the bronze retains the mutating fragility of the human models as captured in clay or plaster, while displaying intense strength and materiality.
These will be shown with a series of sculptures by Lucio Fontana from the late 1950s, entitled Natura. These combine natural with human forms so that the simplicity of the materials accumulates layers of meaning. A small group of ethereal sculptures, made in 1957-58, which resemble butterflies or flowers on a thin, elongated stem will also be shown. These works retain something of Giacometti's emaciated human figures, although the path that brought Fontana to produce them is an investigation of the material themselves.
Richard Serra has made works in steel since the 1960s, which are about movement and equilibrium, stasis and balance. The emphasis of the pieces is on the process of creation, raw physicality combined with a self-conscious awareness of material and an engagement with the space in which it is placed. The works shown include the early lead piece, Sign Board, 1969, and a number of 'corner props', in which massive plates of steel are propped through the force of gravity.
Cy Twombly's sculptures, cast in bronze from rough elements of wood and plaster, are fundamentally abstract, often alluding to mythological subjects or to artefacts of the ancient past: temples, altars, or reliquaries. The fragility of the forms belies their monumental or memorial character.
All the works in the exhibition are characterised by a powerful material presence that activates space. The inert matter ' whether plaster or bronze, steel or found materials ' comes alive in the hands of these artists, whose work retains a physical intimacy, a human scale, and an intense authority. These sculptures are to do with "living, looking and making" (David Sylvester on the work of Cy Twombly, 1997).