2017 Venice Biennale

This Carol Bove Sculpture Deserves Its Own Post

Sculptures by Carol Bove in the Swiss Pavilion.ARTNEWS

Sculptures by Carol Bove in the Swiss Pavilion.


As you read in the space earlier, the Swiss Pavilion is called “Women of Venice.” That title derives from a series of work that Alberto Giacometti made for the French Pavilion in 1956. He refused to ever display work in the Swiss Pavilion, despite the fact that it was designed by his architect brother Bruno in 1952.

Carol Bove’s interpretation of the theme comes partly in the form of a series of royal blue sculptures collectively called “Les Pleiades.” They apparently refer to Giacometti’s late figurative work. One of these relentlessly vertical pieces seems to me to be the star. It is called Léger, and clearly makes reference to the work to the French painter Fernand Léger. The way in which Bove has internalized the clean, simplified lines of Léger’s paintings and recapitulated them in a sculpture marks her as a true master of the medium. (In the accompanying photograph, Léger is the sculpture on the right.)

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