Femme égorgée [Woman with her Throat Cut]
© ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2004

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Femme égorgée [Woman with her Throat Cut] 1932
This is the most macabre of Giacometti's surrealist sculptures. Although the figure appears to be dying, the shape of the body resembles a mantrap or the jaws of a fly-eating plant. The right leg folds under the abdomen to form an aggressive spiky rib cage. A tiny nick can be seen in the throat, as the figure gasps for breath. The sculpture may have been inspired by a short story about the serial killer Jack the Ripper, written by one of the artist's friends. Such a gruesome subject is often considered taboo in art, which is perhaps why the artist chose it.

Glossary Open

Surrealism

A literary and artistic movement founded by the poet André Breton in 1924. Many of the associated artists, such as Max Ernst and Jean Arp, had previously been involved with Dadaism. The movement sought to challenge conventions through the exploration of the subconscious mind, invoking the power of dreams and elements of chance. Cultural hierarchies were challenged by the combination of diverse elements in collages and sculptural assemblages. The movement is also notable for the collaborations between artists and writers evident in the Surrealists' many publications.

Surrealism

Details

  • Acc. No. GMA 1109
  • Medium Bronze (5/5) (cast 1949)
  • Size 22.00 x 87.50 x 53.50 cm
  • Credit Purchased 1970