The Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti (1901 – 1966) is one of the great geniuses of sculpture who has given the historic avant-gardes of the 20th century.And he was also an artist with many faces. Although his most famous works are his bronze philoform figures such as The Walking Man, he also made marble sculptures with a completely different character and appearance such as his resounding Looking Head. And even he made countless drawings and also interesting paintings.
Giacometti's Palace at 4 in the Morning
Well, it still has another different artistic line, with a deeply surrealist spirit, as is the case with this unique work en titled The palace at 4 o'clock in the morning. A creation made between 1932 and 1933, and currently exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
In it we see a completely empty architecture, or rather a wooden scaffolding. A work with which he intends to completely remove preconceived ideas about the art of sculpture, especially about the concept of mass. Something that is explained, according to his own texts, because Giacometti has a very particular way of seeing things, including human bodies, since he says that he did not see their masses, but rather their structures, their skeletons.
In this way he presents us with a ghost building, a kind ofghost stage where only shapes live in spaces. And for this, he only uses materials such as wood, glass, wire or rope.
Undoubtedly, this is the most representative work of the surrealist phase of Giacometti, a period of youth between 1925 and 1935 in which he came into contact with many other artists of this avant-garde movement.
And like them he turned to dreams to inspire some of his works. In this specific case, he recognized that he had to do with his personal and intimate experiences. He was alluding to a time when he was in love with a woman that he was completely entranced by. Therefore, he built a palace of dreams. A metaphor that said that he physically built at night, when he made a palace with matches, as fragile as if he had made it with toothpicks.
That's what he presents us with in the sculpture- And inside this palace he places various elements such as a hanging spine or the skeleton of a bird flying in the highest part of the building, for which not even the it said find explanation.
And Giacometti himself said that he was also represented. It would be the reddish object hanging in front of a table.
In short, Surrealism in its purest form.