= The Crawford Arts Review: A fine example of Giacometti's portraiture at Gagosian

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

A fine example of Giacometti's portraiture at Gagosian

The wizards of the Gagosian Gallery Grosvenor Hill have combined the work of Yves Klein with that of Alberto Giacometti for this show.The colour experiments of Klein, notably the ultramarine-bright, eyeball-grabbing Klein Blues (also shown in one ot his Untitled Sponge Sculptures - SE 309 (1959)), look good against the black or low key painted or patinated bronzes of the Italian master.

The exhibition, which has already been extended, closes on Friday 17 June at 4 pm. So, while Tate Modern and its shiny new extension opens the doors to hordes of first visitors, you might like instead, diesel traffic permitting, to saunter through the sparkling streets of Mayfair. The Mayfair that is transforming itself into a starry place people want to live and work in, not to mention visit, might surprise you.

Go south along Davies Street, turn left into the exquisite little Bourdon Street and on the left you will find Grosvenor Hill and the Gagosian Gallery at No. 20. There are three big things to celebrate here:

- A streetscape designed by the architectural and engineering practice BDP. Clean and friendly, the space has seating, new paving, trees and lighting, the  whole prioritising those on foot (or bicycle).

- A gallery building whose interior, a double height, daylit space by Caruso St John, is spellbinding. The same partnership was responsible for the redevelopment of Tate Britain. The overall exterior of the building, which is multipurpose, was designed by TateHindle.

- The Art. 
Look particularly at Giacometti's portrait of the Japanese philosopher Isaku Yanaihara (1961) a subject he painted many times. Look at what Giacometti does with his palette of dead head colours - various shades of grey - the fluidity, the agility, of those brush strokes. Look at the modelling of the face. And look where colour occurs to move the painting out of the monochrome: on his subject's patterned tie. Nearby, you will also find the four studies Giacometti made of Yanaihara's face the previous year, sketched in blue ballpoint on a sheet of newsprint. You'll also find around 20 of the bronzes, including the 1960 L'homme qui marche I.

Gagosian Gallery
Alberto Giacometti Yves Klein
In Search of the Absolute
20 Grosvenor Hill
London W1
Hours: Tue–Sat 10-6

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