Shenanigans at the National Gallery

drawings by Giacometti on an envelope

I know a woman who writes long lists on old envelopes – shopping lists, schedules, sketches, to-do lists, to avoid lists, all sorts of lists – and her mother does it too (it’s a bit of a family tradition), and I was wondering if maybe, it was a woman thing… but no, I was at the Giacometti exhibition in the National Gallery this week and – what do you know – Giacometti did it too. (see above)

That was an interesting exhibition, entitled: Giacometti: From Life. Mostly drawings and paintings and not many sculptures, the exhibition draws attention to the artist’s practice and to his close working relationships with family members and friends who modelled for him. These included his brother Diego, his wife Annette, and a couple of other writers and artists.

photo of Giacometti sculpture in the National Gallery
actually, this striking sculpture by Giacometti is not in the temporary exhibition although it is in the collection of the National Gallery of Ireland

Now, photography was prohibited at this exhibition but my cantankerous old friend ‘the Professor’ was not in the least bit deterred by this instruction. “Rules”, he says, “are meant to be broken” and he carried on regardless – until he was wrestled to the ground and then forcibly removed by three sturdy attendants. Luckily for me, he had managed to whatsapp the photos above before the guards had figured out the convoluted security settings on his fancy new phone.

pencil sketch by Eoin Mac Lochlainn of sculpture by Giacometti

In any case, I had my trusty pencil and yellow post-it pad with me so, when the commotion eventually died down, I went back to my tiny drawing (which couldn’t possibly do justice to the wonderful sculptures on display).  It was fascinating, however, to study the subtlety of touch and the intensity of expression in Giacometti’s sculptures, especially in his final work of his friend Eli Lotar.

The exhibition continues until the 4th of September, 2022. (Actually, the attendants are quite friendly and the episode above probably didn’t happen quite as described)


  1. grma as seo. I do the same with old used envelopes — to do lists, shopping lists, doodles, words to look up ….

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply, I'd like to hear your viewpoint.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s