Life drawing at its core is about the study of the human figure, its structure and its ability’s, the ability to move in such a variety of ways and to make the most interesting of shapes, the tension of the muscles and the power they contain, and one could spend a very fulfilled lifetime studying this alone because the human physical structure is an amazing design! (Whoever’s responsible for it?) Its dynamics and it’s grace of movement and of course its beauty, real beauty that goes far beyond the superficial beauty that can be just a reflection of the glamour of the modern world. But the study of the human figure is ever timeless and can always be modern in the hands of the artist with a vision and a sense of their time and their place because without a sense of this time and place “timeless” cannot be achieved and surely in the long term this has to be the aim of the figurative artist, to portray humanity and I know its an over used expression but I cannot think of a better term than “to portray the human condition” Few if any have done this better than the Swiss born sculptor Alberto Giacometti.
Alberto Giacometti (born 1901 died 1966)
Painter, sculptor, print maker
In 1934 Giacometti took it into his head to try and do some figure compositions.
“I needed to make quickly I thought one or two studies from life just to understand the construction of a head and of the whole figure, and in 1935 I took a model for a study that should take a couple of weeks and then I would carry out my compositions. I went on working from the model all day everyday from 1935 to 1940, nothing was as I had imagined, a head became for me an object that was completely unknown and without dimensions”
He mainly worked from two models his brother Diego and a female professional model. For the last thirty years of his life he confined his sculpture to three themes, a head, a male figure walking and a female figure standing, they are self contained and withdrawn and each of them portray some of the finest examples of human existence on this planet.