SPINO.- The Museo Ciaesa Granda and the Atelier Giacometti
are once again open, from 1 June until 20 October. Located in the native valley of all the artists Giacometti, the museum houses a good number of works by Giovanni, Alberto, Diego and the cousin Augusto Giacometti, covering their respective creative life. The majestic, scenic and sometimes harsh mountainous landscape offers a greater understanding of the respective artists oeuvre. In addition to these artists, there are also paintings on view by Willy Guggenheim, known as Varlin.
Two temporary exhibitions have been installed for this summer. Bruno Ritter, by whom over 40 drawings are on view, and Marguerite Hersberger, who has installed in the Atelier Giacometti seven Fotopolissages along with six Photographs by Ernst Scheidegger, a close friend of Alberto Giacometti. Printed catalogues accompany both exhibitions.
In 1906, Giovanni Giacometti had a stable and barn altered to serve as an atelier. Much of the planning is documented through his numerous letters to his artist friend Cuno Amiet. A well-lit room, 4.5 meters high, the walls and ceiling lined in planks of local pinewood. After the demise of his greatly respected father, Alberto took over the atelier, as it was, leaving all the works of art in place and simply leaning his own works on the floor against the walls. This is in fact the only place remaining, where Alberto worked, and which has not been altered.
DUCUNT VOLENTEM FATA, NOLENTEM TRAHUNT (Fate guides the Willing, the Unwilling it simply drags along), Giovanni wrote this saying by Seneca the Younger over the entrance door. Above this, a painting from 1896 by Giovanni is suspended, the composition illustrating the retreat from the battle of Marignano. The reverse of this canvas shows a newly discovered view of a mountain lake (Laegh da Cam) by the same artist and dating from the same year.
Giovanni made much of the furniture in the atelier. The front of the large cabinet he painted with Adam and Eve after Masolino, the Annunciation in the centre, and the Expulsion from Paradise after Masaccio on the right. High up on the wall, above this cabinet, Giovanni transcribed in charcoal a passage from a letter by Vincent van Gogh to his friend Emile Bernard, lamenting about the difficulty of the artists profession. Straight on to the wood panels, he also painted a large composition in pointillist manner, illustrating couples ambulating in a paradisic garden, inhabited by human figures in the nude.
The young Alberto placed an iron in the wood-burning stove and burnt several figures into the wall panels. He also left a great number of burns where he would sit and paint - these were caused by the burning matches that he would simply drop on the wooden floor. Artists palettes left behind, clearly show, that although many of his later paintings are kept in various shades of grey, he did not simply squeeze a tube containing this colour, but mixed many different colours in order to arrive at the desired shade of grey. Around 1950, Alberto painted onto the panels studies for a female, standing figure, frontal and from the side, as well as the femme dans la cage. These painted panels were subsequently cut out and now form part of the Fondation Annette et Alberto Giacometti printed, life-size copies record their original place in the atelier.
In the rear of the atelier is placed the table and lamp, which both had formed the centre of the Giacometti familys living room. The first was originally made for Giovanni Segantini and was given after his demise by his wife, Bice, to Giovanni Giacometti. And in the far corner hangs suspended from the ceiling a life-size plaster study for the Muse of Sensuality by Auguste de Niederhaeusern (Rodo) for the monument of Paul Verlaine in Paris.