Museum of Modern Art, New York, United States
05 May 2023 - 09 Oct 2023
The Museum of Modern Art announces The Encounter: Barbara Chase-Riboud/Alberto Giacometti, a focused exhibition developed in close collaboration with Chase-Riboud and the Giacometti Foundation, Paris, that pairs the pioneering work of two expatriates of different generations, who each have made lasting contributions to the field of sculpture. On view from May 5 through October 9, 2023, in Gallery 400, overlooking MoMA’s Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden, the show explores the shared visual vocabulary of two sculptors whose respective work consistently returned to the human figure. The exhibition brings together Chase-Riboud’s monumental sculptures and five of Giacometti’s painted plasters for the Femmes de Venise, which will be shown in the US for the first time.
“The first time Chase-Riboud entered Giacometti’s studio, the 23-year-old artist had just relocated to Paris from Yale University. She never forgot her initial encounter with the famed sculptor, in 1962. As he was working on his plasters, she recalled a man who ‘was a walking Egyptian mummy, entirely white, covered in white plaster from his shoes to the Afro curly hair on his head.’ Their last encounter was in Milan. Today, more than 60 years later, Chase-Riboud finally returns Giacometti’s invitation, welcoming him to The Museum of Modern Art,” said exhibition curators Christophe Cherix and Emilie Bouvard.
The show uses the artists’ time in Paris—their adoptive city and the place where they shaped their artistic practices—as an avenue to examine new connections between their work. These sculptures reveal the rich mutual ground between both artists, including their mutual fascination with the art and architecture of ancient Egypt.
Rarely seen sculptures spanning over four decades of Chase-Riboud’s career—such as The Cape (1973), Zanzibar (1974), and Standing Black Woman of Venice (1969–2020)—will be on view. Said Chase-Riboud, « I think our civilization is minimal enough without underlining it. Sculpture as a created object in space should enrich, not reflect, and should be beautiful. Beauty is its function. » These sculptures will be on view alongside a number of important sculptures by Giacometti, including five plasters from his 1956 body of work Femmes de Venise (Women of Venice) that have never before been exhibited in the United States.
The Encounter: Barbara Chase-Riboud/Alberto Giacometti is organized by Christophe Cherix, The Robert Lehman Foundation Chief Curator of Drawings and Prints, The Museum of Modern Art, and Emilie Bouvard, Scientific and Collections Director, Fondation Giacometti, Paris, with Danielle Johnson, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Drawings and Prints, The Museum of Modern Art.