Giacometti and a (Play) Date With Minimalism

Every year when I return to New York, there is one date I always am sure to keep– an artist date with my son Ludovico. This year our artistic passions drew us to the Guggenheim to take in Alberto Giacometti’s exhibition in combination with Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic edifice. Ludo brought his friend, so the three of us had an afternoon filled with sculpture, architecture, maxi cookies – culminating in playtime in Central Park.

Giacometti’s favorite expression was that of the human figure. The renowned elongated sculptures were immediately brought to life with their minimalist and oddly-shaped beauty. Observing the children amidst the bronze figures against the giant, white swirls of the museum interior, I took pleasure in the playfulness of the scene.

With their audio guides, the children grew fascinated with various objects in the exhibition, especially an artifact from World War II that had inspired the artist. They also enjoyed spinning in circles on the ground level – mimicking the architecture and giggling dizzily at their own antics.

It was Giacometti’s drawings that intrigued me the most. The Swiss artist used only found materials in his drawings. Allowing nothing to stop his imagination, it was as if a child was creating them each time – on any kind of found material, using even ballpoint pen. It was wonderful to share with Ludovico just how accessible art on the wall can be, and how an artist’s materials are not exclusive.

Throughout the years I have seen so many amazing shows, but I can always count on Ludo to show me a different side of beauty. There really is nothing more grandeur or spectacular than the mind of a child.