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Alberto Giacometti

Alberto Giacometti, Femme qui marche II, 1932–36 (cast 1960) Bronze, height: 59 inches (149.9 cm), edition 3/6, Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland© 2018 Alberto Giacometti Estate/Licensed by VAGA and ARS, New York

Alberto Giacometti, Femme qui marche II, 1932–36 (cast 1960)

Bronze, height: 59 inches (149.9 cm), edition 3/6, Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland
© 2018 Alberto Giacometti Estate/Licensed by VAGA and ARS, New York

Alberto Giacometti, Petit homme sur socle, c. 1939–45 Bronze, 3 ⅛ × 2 ¾ × 2 ¼ inches (8 × 6.9 × 5.7 cm), edition 4/8, cast: Fonte Thinot (1973), Foundation Alberto et Annette Giacometti, Paris© 2018 Alberto Giacometti Estate/Licensed by VAGA and ARS, New York

Alberto Giacometti, Petit homme sur socle, c. 1939–45

Bronze, 3 ⅛ × 2 ¾ × 2 ¼ inches (8 × 6.9 × 5.7 cm), edition 4/8, cast: Fonte Thinot (1973), Foundation Alberto et Annette Giacometti, Paris
© 2018 Alberto Giacometti Estate/Licensed by VAGA and ARS, New York

Alberto Giacometti, Le Nez, 1947 Bronze, wire, and steel, 32 × 15 ⅜ × 28 ½ inches (81.3 × 39.1 × 72.4 cm), first cast, not numbered, collection of Samuel and Ronnie Heyman, USA© 2018 Alberto Giacometti Estate/Licensed by VAGA and ARS, New York

Alberto Giacometti, Le Nez, 1947

Bronze, wire, and steel, 32 × 15 ⅜ × 28 ½ inches (81.3 × 39.1 × 72.4 cm), first cast, not numbered, collection of Samuel and Ronnie Heyman, USA
© 2018 Alberto Giacometti Estate/Licensed by VAGA and ARS, New York

Alberto Giacometti, Figure moyenne II, 1947 Bronze with natural patina, 51 ⅛ × 7 × 12 ½ inches (129.9 × 17.8 × 31.8 cm), unique© 2018 Alberto Giacometti Estate/Licensed by VAGA and ARS, New York

Alberto Giacometti, Figure moyenne II, 1947

Bronze with natural patina, 51 ⅛ × 7 × 12 ½ inches (129.9 × 17.8 × 31.8 cm), unique
© 2018 Alberto Giacometti Estate/Licensed by VAGA and ARS, New York

Alberto Giacometti, The Cage (first version), 1949–50 Bronze, 35 ⅝ × 14 ⅜ × 13 ⅜ inches (90.5 × 36.5 × 34 cm), edition of 8© 2018 Alberto Giacometti Estate/Licensed by VAGA and ARS, New York

Alberto Giacometti, The Cage (first version), 1949–50

Bronze, 35 ⅝ × 14 ⅜ × 13 ⅜ inches (90.5 × 36.5 × 34 cm), edition of 8
© 2018 Alberto Giacometti Estate/Licensed by VAGA and ARS, New York

Alberto Giacometti, La Clairière, 1950 Bronze, 23 ⅛ × 25 ¾ × 20 ¾ inches (58.7 × 65.3 × 52.5 cm), edition Fondation A.A. Giacometti, Fondation Giacometti, Paris© 2018 Alberto Giacometti Estate/Licensed by VAGA and ARS, New York

Alberto Giacometti, La Clairière, 1950

Bronze, 23 ⅛ × 25 ¾ × 20 ¾ inches (58.7 × 65.3 × 52.5 cm), edition Fondation A.A. Giacometti, Fondation Giacometti, Paris
© 2018 Alberto Giacometti Estate/Licensed by VAGA and ARS, New York

Alberto Giacometti, Annette debout, c. 1954 (cast 1982) Bronze, height: 18 ¾ inches (47.5 cm), AP I/IV, Foundation Alberto et Annette Giacometti, Paris© 2018 Alberto Giacometti Estate/Licensed by VAGA and ARS, New York

Alberto Giacometti, Annette debout, c. 1954 (cast 1982)

Bronze, height: 18 ¾ inches (47.5 cm), AP I/IV, Foundation Alberto et Annette Giacometti, Paris
© 2018 Alberto Giacometti Estate/Licensed by VAGA and ARS, New York

Alberto Giacometti, Annette assise, 1958 Oil on canvas, 45 ½ × 35 inches (115.6 × 88.9 cm), Detroit Institute of Arts© 2018 Alberto Giacometti Estate/Licensed by VAGA and ARS, New York

Alberto Giacometti, Annette assise, 1958

Oil on canvas, 45 ½ × 35 inches (115.6 × 88.9 cm), Detroit Institute of Arts
© 2018 Alberto Giacometti Estate/Licensed by VAGA and ARS, New York

Alberto Giacometti, La Jambe, 1958 Bronze, 85 ⅞ × 11 ⅞ × 18 ⅜ inches (218 × 30 × 46.5 cm), edition 6/6© 2018 Alberto Giacometti Estate/Licensed by VAGA and ARS, New York

Alberto Giacometti, La Jambe, 1958

Bronze, 85 ⅞ × 11 ⅞ × 18 ⅜ inches (218 × 30 × 46.5 cm), edition 6/6
© 2018 Alberto Giacometti Estate/Licensed by VAGA and ARS, New York

Alberto Giacometti, [Nu debout], 1961 Oil on canvas, 27 ¼ × 19 ½ inches (69 × 49.5 cm)© 2018 Alberto Giacometti Estate/Licensed by VAGA and ARS, New York

Alberto Giacometti, [Nu debout], 1961

Oil on canvas, 27 ¼ × 19 ½ inches (69 × 49.5 cm)
© 2018 Alberto Giacometti Estate/Licensed by VAGA and ARS, New York

Alberto Giacometti, Femme debout, c. 1961 Bronze, 17 ⅞ × 3 ¼ × 4 ⅜ inches (45.4 × 8.2 × 11.4 cm), edition 5/8, cast: Fonte Susse (1993)© 2018 Alberto Giacometti Estate/Licensed by VAGA and ARS, New York

Alberto Giacometti, Femme debout, c. 1961

Bronze, 17 ⅞ × 3 ¼ × 4 ⅜ inches (45.4 × 8.2 × 11.4 cm), edition 5/8, cast: Fonte Susse (1993)
© 2018 Alberto Giacometti Estate/Licensed by VAGA and ARS, New York

Alberto Giacometti, [Head of a Man (Lotar I)], c. 1964–65 (cast 1968) Bronze, 10 ¼ × 11 ⅛ × 4 ⅛ inches (26 × 28.1 × 10.4 cm), EA I/II© 2018 Alberto Giacometti Estate/Licensed by VAGA and ARS, New York

Alberto Giacometti, [Head of a Man (Lotar I)], c. 1964–65 (cast 1968)

Bronze, 10 ¼ × 11 ⅛ × 4 ⅛ inches (26 × 28.1 × 10.4 cm), EA I/II
© 2018 Alberto Giacometti Estate/Licensed by VAGA and ARS, New York

Alberto Giacometti, Buste d’homme assis (Lotar III), 1965 Bronze, 25 ¾ × 11 ⅛ × 14 inches (65.5 × 28.2 × 35.5 cm), edition EA I/II, cast: Fonte Susse (1968)© 2018 Alberto Giacometti Estate/Licensed by VAGA and ARS, New York

Alberto Giacometti, Buste d’homme assis (Lotar III), 1965

Bronze, 25 ¾ × 11 ⅛ × 14 inches (65.5 × 28.2 × 35.5 cm), edition EA I/II, cast: Fonte Susse (1968)
© 2018 Alberto Giacometti Estate/Licensed by VAGA and ARS, New York

About

Art interests me greatly, but truth interests me infinitely more.
—Alberto Giacometti

Alberto Giacometti (1901–1966) devoted much of his career to the struggle between matter and meaning, engaging in an extended exploration of how to reduce the figure’s mass as far as possible while imbuing it with essential force. Jean-Paul Sartre wrote that Giacometti’s depictions of humanity are “always mediating between nothingness and being,” his sculptures evoking the emotional intensity of the void. Often considered testimony to the ravages of postwar Europe, Giacometti’s sculptures, paintings, and drawings possess a timeless quality, inflected with art historical and philosophical narratives, from Surrealism and Expressionism to existentialism and phenomenology.

Born near Stampa, in Switzerland’s southeastern Alps, Giacometti grew up surrounded by the dark shadows, glistening lakes, and precipitous roads of the steep mountain range. This geographic intensity would deeply inform his understanding of mortality and time. In 1922 Giacometti moved to Paris, where, growing dissatisfied with his figurative sculptures, he turned to Cubism, dissecting abstract forms and experimenting with negative space. His search for noncorporeal sculptural forms led to planar, abstract works such as Gazing Head (1928), shown in an exhibition at the Galerie Jeanne Bucher in June 1929. This work caught the attention of the Surrealists, whose thinking would influence the form and content of Giacometti’s work, and expanded the ways he approached themes of destruction, materiality, and the uncanny.

Giacometti often used his close companions as models, from his wife Annette to his brother Diego, as well as poets, writers, and fellow artists including Jean Genet and Eli Lotar, requiring them to sit for many hours—often over several weeks—to capture their likeness to his satisfaction. During these long periods of stillness, he would insist that his sitters offer him a presence as attentive as his own.

In the 1950s, beginning with his second exhibition at the Pierre Matisse Gallery in New York, Giacometti started to gain international acclaim as critics, writers, and philosophers recognized his work as an absolute embodiment of his generation. During this period the artist was particularly focused on representations of the female nude, depicting slender, elegiac forms that emphasize the relationship between the body and gravity. Giacometti produced his famed Femmes de Venise (Women of Venice, 1956) for the French Pavilion of the 1956 Venice Biennale, as well as a concurrent retrospective at the Kunsthalle Bern. Sculpting clay over wire armatures, he created around fifteen figures, nine of which were cast in bronze. Departing from his earlier, impossibly thin “visionary” figures, the Femmes de Venise are rendered with a lifelike accuracy, their somber elegance speaking to universal themes of life and death, darkness and light.

Up until his death in 1966, Giacometti pushed the limits of representation, setting into motion ever-unfolding phenomenological investigations that remain at the core of art making today: How can matter—bronze, plaster, charcoal, paint—embody truth? And how, if at all, can art preserve the essence of the living?

Alberto Giacometti

Photo: Gordon Parks/Getty Images

From the Quarterly

Fairs, Events & Announcements

Photo © Succession Alberto Giacometti (Fondation Giacometti, Paris + ADAGP, Paris) 2018

Opening

Giacometti Institute

Opening June 22, 2018
Montparnasse, Paris
www.institut-giacometti.fr

The Giacometti Foundation, Paris, is pleased to announce the opening of the Giacometti Institute, a new permanent space dedicated to exhibitions on the artist, and to art historical research and pedagogy. The institute aims to provide new perspectives on Giacometti’s work and the creative period in which it emerged. It will also include a re-creation of the artist’s studio as the artist left it on his death, in 1966.

Photo © Succession Alberto Giacometti (Fondation Giacometti, Paris + ADAGP, Paris) 2018

Video

TateShots
Alberto Giacometti

In this episode of weekly web series TateShots, Frances Morris, director of Tate Modern, London, highlights three key works by Alberto Giacometti shown in the 2017 Tate Modern retrospective Giacometti.

Museum Exhibitions

Alberto Giacometti, La Forêt, 1950, Fondation Giacometti, Paris © Succession Alberto Giacometti/ADAGP, Paris 2018

On View

Alberto Giacometti

Through January 20, 2019
Musée Maillol Paris
www.museemaillol.com

Musée Maillol, in collaboration with the Fondation Giacometti, presents an overview of Alberto Giacometti’s oeuvre, complemented by works of important classical and modern sculptors from his time. The show includes more than fifty sculptures by Giacometti alongside twenty-five works by other artists such as Brancusi and Rodin.

Alberto Giacometti, La Forêt, 1950, Fondation Giacometti, Paris © Succession Alberto Giacometti/ADAGP, Paris 2018

Opening Soon

Rui Chafes and Alberto Giacometti
Gris, vide, cris

October 3–December 16, 2018
Fondation Calouste Gulbenkian, Paris
gulbenkian.pt

This exhibition developed as an exploration of the common lexicon of artists, timelessness, dematerialization, and emptiness. Fifteen works by Alberto Giacometti are presented alongside works by Rui Chafes that were commissioned specifically for this project.

Opening Soon

Black Hole
Arte e matericità tra informe et invisibile

October 4, 2018–January 6, 2019
GAMeC — Galleria d’Arte Moderna et Contemporanea di Bergamo, Italy
gamec.it

Black Hole: Arte e matericità tra informe et invisibile is the first exhibition in an ambitious three-year research program dedicated to the theme of matter. Activating a dialogue with the history of scientific and technological discoveries, and investigating the development of aesthetics theories, Black Hole showcases the work of artists who have explored the material element’s most intrinsic significance, where the actual concept of matter shatters to open up a more profound idea of matter as an original element, as the primordial substance that constitutes everything. Work by Urs Fischer, Lucio Fontana, Alberto Giacometti, Anselm Kiefer, and Piero Manzoni is included.

Michael Andrews, A Man Who Suddenly Fell Over, 1952, Tate © The Estate of Michael Andrews

Opening Soon

Bacon, Freud, and the School of London

October 9, 2018–January 13, 2019
Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest, Hungary
mng.hu

In the decades following World War II, Bacon, Freud, and their British contemporaries engaged with subjects that felt immediate and intensely personal. This exhibition retraces their artistic developments via works, including paintings and drawings, spanning seven decades. Despite the sheer diversity of approaches and techniques that embodied their practices, the members of this group were constantly renewing their individual appraisals of the artist’s personal position in the world, focusing on individuals, locations, and narratives close and dear to them. The exhibition was initially produced under the title Bacon, Freud, and the London Painters by ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Denmark. Work by Michael Andrews, Francis Bacon, Glenn Brown, Alberto Giacometti, and Jenny Saville is included.

Michael Andrews, A Man Who Suddenly Fell Over, 1952, Tate © The Estate of Michael Andrews

See all Museum Exhibitions for Alberto Giacometti