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Distributed for DIAPHANES

The Cube and the Face

Around a Sculpture by Alberto Giacometti

Translated by Shane Lillis

Distributed for DIAPHANES

The Cube and the Face

Around a Sculpture by Alberto Giacometti

Translated by Shane Lillis
Alberto Giacometti’s 1934 Cube stands apart for many as atypical of the Swiss artist, the only abstract sculptural work in a wide oeuvre that otherwise had as its objective the exploration of reality.
With The Cube and the Face, renowned French art historian and philosopher Georges Didi-Huberman has conducted a careful analysis of Cube, consulting the artist’s sketches, etchings, texts, and other sculptural works in the years just before and after Cube was created. Cube, he finds, is indeed exceptional—a work without clear stylistic kinship to the works that came before or after it. At the same time, Didi-Huberman shows, Cube marks the transition between the artist’s surrealist and realist phases and contains many elements of Giacometti’s aesthetic consciousness, including his interest in dimensionality, the relation of the body to geometry, and the portrait—or what Didi-Huberman terms “abstract anthropomorphism.” Drawing on Freud, Bataille, Leiris, and others Giacometti counted as influence, Didi-Huberman presents fans and collectors of Giacometti’s art with a new approach to transitional work.

248 pages | 85 halftones | 6 x 9 1/2 | © 2015

Think Art

Art: European Art

Philosophy: General Philosophy


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“Didi-Huberman exploits the formal presence of Cube to construct a metaphoric and polyphonic interplay of critical facets which allows him to engage with a range of Giacometti’s aesthetic investigations.”

Timothy Mathews, excerpt from Alberto Giacometti: The Art of Relation

Table of Contents

Buried Face
Face of the Orientation that Cannot Be Found
Face of the Drawing that Seeks its Volume
Face of the Cage and the Transparent Crystal
Face of the Bodies that Come Apart
Face of the Impossible Dimension
Face of the Dead Heads
Lost Face, Face of the Father
Face of Opacity and the Blind Crystal
Face of Shadow and Spacing
Melancholic Face
Face of the Drawing that Seeks its Notch
Face for Finishing with the Object
Buried Face
Elena Vogman and Mira Fliescher
In the Face of the Unface

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