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Gagosian Gallery


Time Out says

Larry Gagosian is essentially the biggest gallerist in the world. He has two enormous spaces in London and one little piddler – for shows by artists like, oh, you know, Picasso. Yeah, Picasso.


20 Grosvenor Hill
Tube: Bond St
Opening hours:
Tue-Sat 10am-6pm
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What’s on

‘The Body as Matter: Giacometti Nauman Picasso’

3 out of 5 stars

Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti, modern art maestro Pablo Picasso and conceptual pioneer Bruce Nauman walk into a gallery. It’s the setup to a joke I haven’t got a punchline for, and the basis for this exhibition of sculptures by the three of them. They’re all big dogs of art history, but do they have anything in common? Gagosian sure thinks so, but you may not leave this show all that convinced. A long gaunt Giacometti bust faces you as you enter, a loping man strides feebly behind, a lone leg – emaciated and weak – balances nearby. Giacometti’s work is heavy with the legacy of war, worryingly frail, brutally scarred. Picasso isn’t so burdened. His work here is a bunch of games, experiments with human form, a body shaped like a crucifix, a pregnant woman made of orbs, tiny figures that toy with ideas stolen from the ancient world and African dolls. Nauman’s work is weirder and darker than both. Casts of hands are bound with rope, animals are beheaded and reassembled, fists smash into each other. The gallery says that all three artists use the body as base material, but so does the vast majority of figurative sculpture. It’s hard to understand what unites these three artists, why they’re being shown together, other than them all being famous and influential; it could be any three of countless sculptors.  Giacometti, as the only artist here fully dedicated to the craft of sculpture, comes across the best. His works are so pained, so tense, so absolutely full of the scars of

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