Spoon Woman

Vertical black sculpture of rounded and rectangular shapes, suggesting a human figure.
© 2018 Succession Giacometti / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

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  • Vertical black sculpture of rounded and rectangular shapes, suggesting a human figure.

Date:

1926–27 (cast 1954)

Artist:

Alberto Giacometti
Swiss, 1901–1966

About this artwork

After studying at the École des Beaux-Arts and the École d’Arts et Métiers in Geneva, Alberto Giacometti traveled throughout Italy and finally settled in Paris in 1923. Two years later, despite his formal training in drawing and painting, he began to focus solely on sculpture. During these early years, he forged a path based on a variety of influences, including the formal simplicity of Constantin Brâncusi’s sculpture, aspects of Cubism, and the totemic quality of African art. Spoon Woman was inspired by a type of anthropomorphic spoon carved by the Dan people of West Africa; such works were exhibited frequently in Paris during the 1920s and were the subject of great fascination for artists, including Giacometti. Drawing on the frontality and cultural significance of these implements, he presented his female figure as a symbol of fertility. Topped by a set of simple blocks to suggest her torso and head, the woman’s wide, curving womb is represented by the concave section of the spoon. Giacometti’s interest in female totems extended beyond the art of the Dan; in the 1920s he studied and sketched prehistoric female figures—symbols of fertility and mystery—that were in the collections of many museums.

Currently Off View

Contemporary Art

Artist

Alberto Giacometti

Title

Spoon Woman

Origin

Switzerland

Date

1926–1927

Medium

Bronze

Dimensions

146 × 52.1 × 25.4 cm (57 1/2 × 20 1/2 × 10 in. )

Credit Line

Gift of Florene M. Schoenborn

Reference Number

1971.880

Copyright

© 2018 Succession Giacometti / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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