John Baldessari : The Giacometti Variations
Fondazione Prada, Milan, Italy
October 29 – December 26, 2010
‘the giacometti variations’ by american conceptual artist john baldessari is an original installation made to be featured at the prada foundation in milan, italy. as the name of the project states, baldessari took influence from the imagery projected by the swiss sculptor, alberto giacometti, and has created nine, oversized female figures stretched to an extremely slender form. The 4.5 meter tall sculptures, made out of resin and steel then sprayed with bronze, were clothed in garments and objects also designed by baldessari. the result is an immobile, snapshot of a fashion show, integrating the ideas of art and fashion on a dramatic, larger-than-life scale.
Between the columns and under the exposed arches of the space at the prada foundation, the figures are dressed in looks are grounded in archetypes found in the interrelationship between film and fashion, such as the hot-pink bow in duchess satin (an ironic revisiting of the 1950s hollywood glamour of marilyn monroe), dorothy’s ruby slippers in ‘the wizard of oz’, and humphrey bogart’s trench coat in ‘casablanca’. the installation will unfold in segments throughout the months, showing a total of eighteen different loos in rotation. through this process of transformation, baldessari aims to underscore our society’s current trend of consumption and the rate at which fashion is consumed.
“I’ve always wanted to do tall paintings and sculptures. I suspect it’s because I am quite tall. I’ve had little opportunity since most galleries have wall heights that mirror the wall heights of collector’s homes. A few years ago, I was invited to show in Haus Der Kunst, Munich. Since the entrance hall is extremely tall, I began thinking about tall work I could do there to capture the space. One of my ideas was the idea that I have proposed to the Prada Foundation. My plan is to elongate standing Giacometti sculptures and clothe them with garments.” [Extract : John Baldessari - 'The Giacometti Variations' : Designboom]