Landscapes Deeply Felt

An Alberto Giacometti sculpture of the human figure retains the immediacy of its making. There is a freshness of expression that continues to exude from the busts he made of his brother, Diego, more than 70 years after they were created. Last week I viewed a show of Giacometti’s work at Eykyn-Maclean Gallery in New York City. The 20th century Swiss artist is one of my favorites. 

While in Switzerland a few years ago I visited the region near the Italian border where Giacometti was born. The mountains are jagged. The traditional homes and agricultural buildings are made of stone, including their roofs. After returning home from NYC I looked back at photos from my Italy/Switzerland trip. I was struck by the similarities between the torsos of Giacometti’s sculpture and the mountains and built landscape of his homeland.

The greater surroundings of our childhood, though they may feel like no more than mere back drops to us while growing up, affect us deeply throughout our lives. Their impact can be as subtle as a gesture in our chosen mode of expression. The environment of our youth is with us always.