Some works are displayed with their respective tactile reproductions.
Below are descriptions of the tactile tours for two sculptures by Alberto Giacometti and one by Max Ernst, all located in the garden, and six relief reproductions of works by Jean Arp, Giuseppe Capogrossi, Vasily Kandinsky, René Magritte, Piet Mondrian, and Pablo Picasso.
Jean Hans Arp
Overturned Blue Shoe with Two Heels Under a Black Vault, 1925
Painted wood, 79 x 104 x 5 cm
The work is influenced by Cubist collages and made up of three elements: a horizontal rectangular shape as a base, on which rest two curved forms, one above and one below. The latter resembles an inverted shoe with two heels. Arp began creating these reliefs in wood in 1914 and continued in the following years, when he was a member of the Dada movement. He assembled forms, which were usually rounded, according to the laws of chance. The title is evocative and not based on rationality.
Surface 236, 1957
Oil on canvas, 96 x 71 cm
The artist created an abstract composition consisting of graphic modules that are similar in shape, color and size. The composition is formed by an aggregation of four-pointed symbols that look like combs. Despite the overall apparent chaos, the six large symbols are arranged in a rhythmic way: they follow one another, one below the other, spreading over two ideal columns. Next to them are other toothed segments, some thinner and vertical, others larger and horizontal. Each contributes to the composition. After a figurative phase, Capogrossi began to use the repetition of symbols and calligraphic elements to create his paintings, each with a different arrangement of forms.
Young Woman in the Form of a Flower, 1957
Bronze, 35 x 35.6 x 21.5 cm
The sculpture is composed of three simplified, geometric forms assembled together. A small rectangle represents the head, with three horizontal segments as the eyes and the mouth. The body is formed by a larger rectangle: its the surface is furrowed by lines that radiate outwards from a central, horizontal slit and that seem to indicate the blossoming of a flower and the veins of its petals. The lateral view shows that the structure of the sculpture is shaped like the letter "E", which joins the head and the body and ends at the bottom with two protrusions resembling the letter “T” and the feet of the figure.
Standing Woman (“Leoni”), 1957
Bronze, 153 cm high, including base
The elongated and dematerialized figure seems structured by the verticality of the force of gravity. The surface is rough and coarse. It represents a woman, standing stiff with her thin arms stretched along her body. The artist sought to convey the human loneliness that came to characterize the twentieth century, with its uncertainties and fears. The figure is as thin as a match: the eyes and the mouth are perceived through small cavities, while the nose is barely hinted at by a protrusion. Below the breasts, composed of two projecting forms, the hips are further thinned. The closed legs are long and thin, with the feet acting as a pedestal.
Woman Walking, 1936
Bronze, 144.6 cm high, including base
The elongated and slender female nude is truncated, with neither head nor arms, and is caught in the act of walking. The left leg, the right one in a frontal view, is slightly forward, while the other becomes the support. The body is erect and thinned, the only protruding parts are the small breasts, the abdomen and thighs. The treatment of the subject references the frontal figures of ancient Egypt and the flattened ones of Cycladic art. The long, thin legs are smooth and solid. This essential and vertical shape may have been influenced by two other contemporary sculptors, Alexander Archipenko and Constantin Brancusi.
Oil on cardboard, 70 x 49 cm
Kandinsky painted a geometric composition at the center, on a green, slightly textured background. The abstract composition seems to show a head formed by two semicircles staggered along a vertical axis, with the right one wider and lower than the left one. Some facial features can be recognized: the small circle on the right as an eye, and further below on the left the two small, horizontal and parallel rectangles as the mouth. This round form seems to be supported, as if it were a bust, by two vertical trapezoids joined along the longer bases. The one on the left is uniform, and the one on the right is black and shaped in the form of the letter “E”.
Voice of Space, 1931
Oil on canvas, 72 x 54 cm
The clear sky of a spring landscape occupies most of the canvas. A meadow with bushes, interrupted by a path on the left, is painted at the bottom. Three large, overlapping spheres take up most of the sky. They seem to be made in metal, each crossed by a horizontal slit that divides them in two: they look like rattles and evoke their tinkling. The title of the painting is eloquent. Magritte intended to paint the sound of the air passing through the rattles and making them vibrate, and he did so with three spheres immersed in a country landscape. The work embodies the surrealist principle of free association of ideas and of everyday objects, that are decontextualized and altered.
Composition No. 1 with Grey and Red 1938 / Composition with Red 1939
Oil on canvas, mounted on wood support, 109 x 106 x 2.5 cm
Mondrian was a member of Neoplasticism, although he started his career by painting figurative landscapes. He searched the fundamental truths of nature and wanted to transfer them in painting. Therefore, he simplified subjects and reduced the chromatic range to achieve abstraction. In this painting, an asymmetrical grid of black lines, both vertical and horizontal, create rectangles of different sizes. The left side is larger than the right, which is dominated by vertical forms. The only colored element is a red rectangle in the lower right of the painting that provides formal balance to the work.
On the Beach, February 12, 1937
Oil, conté crayon and chalk on canvas, 129 x 194 cm
The horizon line sits as high as three quarters of the painting, and separates the sea from the sky. An oval figure in the shape of a simplified face stands above this line. Two female figures composed of geometric forms occupy the foreground. One is standing to the left, one is squatting to the right. They seem to be playing with a small, two-pointed boat placed at the bottom, in the center between them. The figures have small heads on long necks, with faces defined with two dots for the eyes and dashes for nose and mouth. The arms are prismatic and sharp. The standing figure looks pregnant, with a large belly, cone-shaped breasts, one regular, the other arranged in reverse. Her body is seen in profile, almost, but the buttocks appear as seen frontally.