Existentialism and Modern Art


image-1On Monday, January 18, the senior Aesthetics class visited the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art in uptown Charlotte to explore the sculptures of Alberto Giacometti.
Among other topics, the senior Aesthetics class attempts to comprehend the philosophy of our modern culture as it is depicted in modern art.  They were asked: “How do we see Existentialism in the sculptures of Alberto Giacometti?”  Here is one student response, by senior Kaitlyn M.:
When one looks at the sculptures of Giacometti, one sees a troubled soul looking for answers and never finding truth.  Giacometti was attempting to discover himself while sculpting, painting and sketching.  Yet he was not deliberately following the existentialist method and thought.  Giacometti hated labels and refused  to adhere to any specific label.  It was Jean Paul Sartre who first identified Giacometti as an existentialist artist.  Sartre saw in Giacometti a lost soul in search of an absolute, struggling to identify with the world.  His description is accurate for most of the world after World War II.  [Below] is Giacometti’s Three men Walking.  This work of “art” consists of three elongated figures who have been hacked at until they [are] almost obliterated.  The artist was frustrated at not being able to find the answers he wanted and took his frustrations out on his art.




One comment on “Existentialism and Modern Art


    Good observation Kaitlyn, Giacomatti was most certainly a lost soul .We see this played out in the world today as people look for answers , but all to often they look in all the wrong places. I enjoyed your response.

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