The Human Condition (Aix-en-Provence)

The second of two full-day trips for all students in SCAD Lacoste was on Friday, October 26. The destination was Aix-en-Provence.

By Julie Miller, BFA Painting, Savannah Campus

Visiting the Musée Granet in Aix-en-Provence, France was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Nestled in a nondescript building tacked right up on the side of a gothic cathedral, the museum is easy to walk by if you don’t know what it is. Musée Granet is known for its large sculpture collection and its (admittedly only) nine paintings by Cézanne. All of these things were exquisite, but the real jewel to me, it turns out, is the small collection in the gallery room next to the Cézannes. Turning the corner past a small study for Les Baigneuses, I walked straight into several impossibly skinny, knobbed bronze figures and busts.  I had walked into my first real-life Giacomettis.








As it turns out, the 19 pieces by Alberto Giacometti have only been part of the museum’s collection for 12 years.  They were donated by Phillip Meyer, along with a stunning Mondrian and a Paul Klee, and aren’t heavily advertised.  “[The sculptures] caught me by surprise.  I had first gone to the classic sculpture part of the museum, and I went upstairs and that’s when I saw the Giacomettis.  And that was something else. They deal with the human condition, a constant wearing down. You can see his thumbprints and fingerprints in the bronze castings. The human body is like that, too– both physically and spiritually,” said graduate painting student Chuck Parham.

And it’s true. The pieces jump out at you, and though small, speak resoundingly of our space in this world.


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