• Cage


      Created especially for the artist’s exhibition at the Swiss Pavilion in the 2017 Venice Biennale, Cage is an insightful contemporary tribute by artist Carole Bove to the 20th-century Swiss master sculptor – Alberto Giacometti. “There’s thought behind my work…” says Bove in a 2017 interview to the Wall Street Journal Magazine, “…but the way you experience it is not conceptual. It’s speaking in a language of direct experience but still visceral and intellectual.”i


      It is this quality that makes Cage such an all-encompassing experience that corresponds with Giacometti’s modern ideas. Giacometti created his Women of Venice in anticipation of his exhibition at the 1956 French Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. He molded in clay a grouping of fifteen wispy female figures, which were later cast in pale plaster by his brother Diego. These works eventually came to achieve cult-like status.


      This grouping provided a starting point for Bove’s sculptural group at the 2017 Swiss Pavilion exhibition, of which Cage was a featured highlight. Issues of theatricality and autonomy were always central in the artist’s oeuvre, and Cage is a prime example. With its substantial stainless-steel presence, pale urethane paint that echoes Giacometti’s plaster, and its anthropomorphic posture, Cage is an almost romantic exploration of the human figure in the history of sculpture. As Curator Phillip Kaiser remarked, “not merely another tribute to the artist [Giacometti] ... Rather, it is a rectification, a footnote and historical echo, a bass line that brings home the fact that there is no escaping the past—that history needs to be constantly, critically and productively rephrased and rewritten.”ii

      i Thomas Gebremedhin, The Magic of Fall Fashion at the Venice Biennale, Wall Street Journal Magazine, August 14, 2017.
      ii Women of Venice, exh.cat, LVII Venice Biennale, Venice, 2017, p. 3.

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David Altmejd


George Condo