Gaetano Pesce on using a Giacometti sculpture for a coat rack

Object Lessons

Gaetano Pesce on using a Giacometti sculpture for a coat rack

Man Pointing (1947) by Alberto Giacometti (Courtesy 2018 ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY)

Alberto Giacometti’s Man Pointing

Many years ago I was in Venice during the winter. At that time I was acquainted with Peggy Guggenheim, who invited me, along with Francesca, the mother of my children, for an evening at her house-museum. The Venetian winter is extremely cold and wet, so we arrived to the event with heavy coats.

A butler opened the door asking for our coats and hung them on a thin Giacometti sculpture that was in the entrance. I thought that the sculpture would have bent under the weight of the coats, but it actually resisted. That evening my suspicion that art has always been functional and practical, as well as being the bearer of meanings, was confirmed: The Giacometti statue was exhibited as a piece of art during the museum’s open hours, and in the evening, when that place became a private home, it was transformed into a coat rack.

Object Lessons is a new collaboration between AN and Façadomy that asks a diverse range of designers and artists to reflect on an object (material or otherwise) that has made a significant impact on their practice. Through personal anecdotes from notable practitioners, the series highlights the myriad ways in which the built environment informs our identities.

A previous piece by Nancy Davidson considered a weather balloon.

Curated by Riley Hooker/Façadomy