Rui Chafes and Alberto Giacometti. Gris, vide, cris

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18 May – 25 Sep 2023
  • Closed on Tuesday


Lower Gallery Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation


This exhibition gathers works by Alberto Giacometti and several sculptures by Rui Chafes, some of which conceived specifically for this show.

‘Gris, vide, cris’: three words taken from a poem by Alberto Giacometti bring together in this exhibition two artists separated in space, in time and in the forms of their sculptures. This factor of separation encourages us to question the meaning of the act of uniting two artists who never met – Rui Chafes was born in 1966, the year of Giacometti’s death, and there are no biographical or historical details to connect them in a way that creates a dialogue. This exhibition was thus devised as an encounter.

The idea was not based on any formal analogies, mimicries or affinities. On the contrary, it was an awareness of the differences between the two artists’ work – and particularly the potential for their works to resonate – that allowed the project to develop. Both artists seek to achieve a state of incorporeality and transcendence and to represent the invisible, albeit in different ways: Giacometti through a process of exasperated de-materialisation; Rui Chafes by challenging the limits of iron and of imponderability.

Without departing from the nature of his own investigation, Rui Chafes proposes a unique approach to the work of Giacometti, a sensory experience in which silence and solitude come to dominate. Nineteen works by Alberto Giacometti will be exhibited alongside several new sculptures by Rui Chafes, specially made for this project, the first edition of which was held in 2018 at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation’s delegation in France, now with a developed and updated concept, including a new exhibition design project and a new catalogue.

For one of Giacometti’s sculptures (the first study in plaster for Le Nez, dated 1947-1950), the Fondation Giacometti in Paris invited Rui Chafes to devise a structure from which to suspend it, thus forming a sculptural work of dual authorship, also to be shown in Lisbon.



Helena de Freitas

Exhibition design

José Neves


Rui Chafes, 'Un autre corps I', 2018 © Alcino Gonçalves


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