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1947–48 (cast 1948–49)
In the late 1940s Alberto Giacometti produced attenuated thin figures not only of the life-size height of Standing Woman, but also on the miniature scale of the figures who inhabit this Piazza. Four men stride across a wide plaza, each moving toward the center, yet none apparently directed toward an encounter with one another. A single woman, whose stiff posture recalls Standing Woman, stands isolated and motionless near the center. The featureless figures exist independently within their haphazardly grouped unity, their multiple, nonconverging paths suggesting individual ambitions and absorptions. The flat bronze slab on which the figures stand serves both as base and as the plaza setting. Giacometti’s scene derives from modern urban experience. An eye-level examination of the work alters the scale of miniaturization first perceived by the viewer. The vastness of the empty piazza and the anonymity of the figures are revealed by such close-up scrutiny.