Chapter 1: Introduction
In 1901, a painter, Giacometti Giovanni gave birth to Alberto Giacometti at Borgonovo in Swiss as the first born among four other children (‘Alberto Giacometti’, nd, p. 1-2). Alberto Giacometti’s interest in arts developed as early as his childhood while under the care of his painter father. Alberto viewed the world through his father’s artistic eyes while young and it is through the parental inspiration that he began painting and drawing before his interest developed in sculptures. Characteristically, Alberto’s young age was used in queries and questions on reality, illusions and truth in human life, questions that would astonish the fairest of the world’s philosophers of the age (Trachtman, 2004, p. 1-4). After elementary art’s classes in Geneva, Alberto went for higher studies in arts in Paris where his mastery in sculpturing was gained. His love for arts led to his opening of a studio in collaboration with his brother at Paris in 1925. Plastic arts interested him equally after observing primitive people as was observed in 1925 on torso. It was between 1936 and 40 that his interest in sculptures intensified and he concentrated more on head sculptures with his sister’s gaze as a blue print. Besides plastic, Alberto used gypsum as well as marble for his works and adopts public exhibitions for his works. Through his works in painting and sculptures, Alberto earned his living and together with his brother, they invest in making designs of lamps as well as furniture under Frank Michael, an interior architect from Parisian. Nevertheless, his unique styles gained audience after the world war when he adopted bronze for his works. A characteristic feature with his works of art was his preference for long, elongated and very thin sculptures, which were seen as though they did not have weight. Skinny figures of his works representing his brothers, sisters as well as his sister are still exhibited in New York at Pierre Matisse Gallery (Schweiz, nd, para 1-5). Besides, he made images of animals from bronze with special features that represented seasons and had artistic representation of human world especially during the world war period between 1930s and 40s. He effectively represented distinction between reality as well as imaginations through his tall and emaciated images of walking men and the representations of women figures while studying. In much of his artistic works in drawings, paintings as well as in forms of sculpture, Alberto addresses the theme of existentialism where self consciousness philosophy is represented through his capacity to capture melancholy, loneliness and alienation in his works. He also had a unique way of representing ‘sex’ in reference to gender where men figures were unique from women figures (Markus, nd, p. 81-84).
The above introduction reveals that Alberto lived a relatively long life (between 1901-1966) but was successful in living a fulfilled live in his endeavors to further and practice art through sculptures. According to Alberto, art is a means to have a better view and this has implications of sensation recording into the eyes of the observer. He is remembered by his position that arts is best understood and enjoyed when interpreted through own visual perception as unlike what one is told. It is noted that Alberto’s interest in arts developed at childhood and his works were more of copies where he worked on notebooks, single copies as well as margins of own books or his father’s books. He specialized on a variety of collections from the African origin, European art, Indian arts, oceanic arts as well as contemporary works as those of Picasso and Mondrian. Copying according to Alberto had significance in meaning in reference to “resembling reality” as well as “vision.” He reasoned that he was prompted to copy in order to have a clear vision and understand better. His unique works of art brought him into the global perspective, he traveled wide and far and his works are exhibited across the globe in major museums and such galleries. Le Chat is among the highly treasured pieces of art by Alberto and such other works that came into being after the world war. He is remembered to have explained significance of his works in symbolism where once, he curved a cat ‘Le Chien’ that according to him was his own representation of the loneliness felt during the world war. Little is however known about the source of his inspiration into the works of arts as he specialized in his livelihood. This therefore forms the basis of this project where the intention is to understand the source of Alberto’s inspiration towards his career and specialization in sculptures.
The perception of artistic work empowers an artist to overcome the cultural veil that covers one’s vision and the person is empowered to appreciate pieces of art in a more open manner as against earlier perceptions. After such an uncovering, Alberto reasons that an artist is able to appreciate the works from exterior world and then manage to represent them through own works. The works of Alberto has been studied in depth and shown to be a depiction of human finitude as have been sought by scientists and philosophers. His emaciated, slim and tall images of persons gazing emptily into the space only successfully explain the alienation and separation of humans from other forms of lives (Nasgaard, 1965, p. iii-iv). This paper therefore intends to investigate the source of inspiration upon which Alberto relied on in his engagement in sculpture arts and critically analyze some of his visual art works in reference to his artistic view.
Significance of the Study
This study has the main objective as being that of understanding the inspiration that the works of Alberto came from. However, the study involves among other aims to evaluate the contemporary artworks before as well during World War II, through which Alberto would have had immediate reference. This study will therefore add to the existing literature from other studies that have been done previously on the theme. Besides, the study would clearly outline some of the evolutionary stages through which the artwork has undergone and the contribution of Alberto’s work in the mid 20th century. Besides, the findings of this study will be instrumental in informing readers and such researchers on the actual source of inspiration to Alberto’s works in art. Besides, future studies would have a lot to learn from the findings of the current study.
- What particular personalities and historical events in the field of arts inspired Alberto in artwork?
- What fields interested him more while producing his works of art and what effects did his works have in the field?
- How was the field of arts prior to and during his engagements in sculpture arts?
Objectives of the Study
Full appreciation of a piece of artwork requires an artistic analysis and the perception of the external world as the artist would see. It would be impossible for us to fully appreciate Alberto’s works of art before we understand him in person, understand his perception of the contemporary world as well as understand his inspiration into the field of arts. This study is therefore guided by many objectives among them being to:
- Evaluate the life of Alberto in arts and understand his inspiration
- Understand the development of the industry of arts as influenced by the world war as shown through his works
- Propose possible themes of study concerning art development in the contemporary world learning from the works of Alberto during and after the world war II
Chapter 3: Methodology
This part describes the procedure that will be used during the testing of the hypothesis, collecting of data and management of data upon which this study is based. The chapter additionally explains the method that is used during data analysis and the description entailing the scope of the procedure that eventually lead to the answering of the hypothetical questions that were generated, from the review of the literature.
Unlike research methods used by researchers to refer to distinct techniques used during the conduct of a research study, research methodology explains the large number of processes that a researcher involves while studying specific phenomena. Hence, methodologies refer to the systematic mechanism by which a research study is performed. Research methods are categorically part of the methodologies that are utilized by a researcher while carrying out a research study.
Methodology is a crucial step in carrying out a research study that allows one to know whether it is a test that has already been carried out by literature review done and if so, the procedures applied beforehand and the results obtained. Hence, it allows the study to decide how its methods have been used in the past and what other approaches have ever been used. In addition, the methodology can depend on whether the study is organized within the qualitative / quantitative analysis or unstructured.
However some abstract ideas or theories direct the philosophical or theoretical study studies. Testing of the hypothesis as well as interpretation of the findings is based on some predetermined body of knowledge or theories. The theories are assumed conventional and thus universally acceptable. It is however necessary that a researcher defines the theory under use in order to determine the methodologies to use within the study. These are equally dependent on the subject or field of study. The research paradigm adopted as either being qualitative or quantitative is equally very instrumental in deciding on the methodology to be applied (Maxwell, 2008, p. 214-218). Qualitative and quantitative research studies rely on substantial differences in the nature of truth, epistemology (relationships being studied), language use, the role of values, and the analysis method in general (Aylward and Clarke, 2005, p.29).
Analytical methods especially the empirical analyses are applicable within the context of testable variable within studies. Other relationships are not testable hence; the studies adopt the deductive methodologies of carrying out a research study. At the other hand, if study variables connect in ways that are both straightforward and testable by theoretical deductions, the studies should use both simultaneously. Deductions from the study findings will then be applicable in general context within the capacity of the study to project and make inferences (Key, 1997, p. para 1-3). By conducting this study under the deductive framework and by use of qualitative analysis, the study methodology is not unique, as others have used the methodology in the past. However, uniqueness is ascertained by the specific analysis engaged within this study as opposed to the other studies carried out in a like or related analysis. This study will therefore wholly rely on the literature reviewed in reference to the theme of ‘Alberto Giacometti’s artworks as well as his inspiration’. The deductive analysis will be used in reference to available works of literature through which this study envisions to gather information to answer the questions posed. Besides, this study will have developed hypothesis which will predefine the expected results and which the findings will seek to justify or otherwise prove wrong. Qualitative studies have been done on the theme in the past as seen from literature and thus deductions from such studies will serve for analysis and results in this study.
The research design describes a unique procedure that the researcher is going to use to go about the data collection exercise. In case study, the researcher identifies a specialised situation and undertakes a comprehensive study or research around the situation. This study therefore identifies the case of interest to be the analysis of the ‘Alberto Giacometti’s artworks as well as his inspiration’ as would be effective to understand the world of arts in the first half of 19th century especially during the World War II. This study will be qualitative and thus information to be collected is not quantitative. This study will employ deductive methods in analyzing available past research studies in order to successfully study the life and artworks of Alberto.
This study intends to ascertain the authenticity of the following statements in assumption regarding the works of Alberto and his source of inspiration:
- Alberto’s way of life as a survivor to the second world war informs his great interest in man’s solitude and infinitude as represented in his works of arts.
- His immediate world while as a kid and general upbringing explains his childhood interests in copying and painting.
- Exposure while studying as well as interaction with other artists of the time increased his interest in artworks while young as well as in the advanced age.
Limitations of the Study
This study wholly depends on data and information that is currently available through literature and thus there is likelihood that such literature lacks from such sources as the internet. This is therefore the main problem that the researcher envisions that would limit the study if the necessary literature is not found or if the literature is not up to date. Moreover, the availability of the literature to be reviewed is a fundamental concern where the limited literature is likely to affect negatively the study findings.
Through the analysis of available literature, it is possible to establish the link between Alberto’s works of art as well as the contemporary world in which he lived during his time. The background to his life reveals that much of inspiration towards his future career was developed while under the watch of his artist father. His inquisitive nature explains his position that understanding and being successful in doing works of art requires an artist represent the world as he sees and not as others see it. This therefore shows that much of his artistic works had a distinction from the rest of works art in the time. The world war II had significant influence in his works and career as portrayed by his images of dogs and cats which he would later explain to represent his loneliness and separation as the effects of the war.
Value of Proposed Work
Besides giving the picture of Alberto in the first 20th century, this research will endeavor to answer such questions that would interest many regarding the uniqueness of Alberto’s works of art that continue to fascinate many even in the 21st century. This study will therefore contribute towards filling a gap that exists in many of the previous studies regarding Alberto by answering the question as to what was the inspiration of Alberto in his arts career. It is also intended to analyze the artistic attributes that were in Alberto and what life steps worked to enhance them to shape the future of the artist. Besides, this study will be instrumental in guiding future studies concerning the life and works of Alberto.
- ‘Alberto Giacometti’, nd. “Alberto Giacometti”. Accessed November 28, 2013. http://www.speysidehigh.net/sites/default/files/Alberto%20Giacometti.pdf
- Aylward D. and Clarke R. 2005. Research models and methodologies. HDR seminar series. Faculty of commerce spring session 2005.
- Key J. P., 1997. “Qualitative research” Accessed November 28, 2013. http://www.okstate.edu/ag/agedcm4h/academic/aged5980a/5980/newpage21.htm
- Maxwell J. A., 2008. “Designing a Qualitative Study” Accessed November 28, 2013. http://coursesite.uhcl.edu/HSH/PeresSc/Classes/PSYC6036www/presentations/Ch7_qualitativeResearch.pdf
- Markus R., nd. “Sex and Gender in Giacometti’s Couples”. Accessed November 28, 2013. http://arts.tau.ac.il/departments/images/stories/journals/arthistory/Assaph5/05markus.pdf
- Nasgaard R., 1965. “Alberto Giacometti: An art of Impasse” Accessed November 28, 2013. https://circle.ubc.ca/bitstream/handle/2429/36686/UBC_1967_A8%20N3.pdf?sequence=1
- Schweiz B., nd. “Alberto Giacometti”. Accessed November 28, 2013. http://www.alberto–giacometti.com/
- Trachtman P., 2004. “Magnificent Obsession Giacometti struggled to capture perception in sculpture and paint–and thought he’d failed. Accessed November 28, 2013. http://paultrachtman.net/pdfs/giacometti.pdf