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Alberto Giacometti

Alberto Giacometti, Femme qui marche II, 1932–36 (cast 1960) Bronze, height: 59 inches (149.9 cm), edition no. 3, 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 no. 3, 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

Fairs, Events & Announcements

Jeff Koons, Bluebird Planter, 2010–16 © Jeff Koons

Art Fair

FIAC Online 2021
Printemps oublié

March 2–12, 2021

Gagosian is pleased to present Printemps oublié for the first online edition of FIAC. This curated presentation reflects the dual character of springtime as a reminder of past trials and the harbinger of a vibrant new season to come.

All the artworks will appear on the Gagosian website and a rotating selection will appear in the inaugural FIAC Online Viewing Rooms, from March 4 to 7.

Jeff Koons, Bluebird Planter, 2010–16 © Jeff Koons

Douglas Gordon’s hand alongside a sculpture by Alberto Giacometti at Institut Giacometti, Paris. Artwork © Succession Giacometti. Photo: Thomas Gangnet

Partnership

Douglas Gordon and
Institut Giacometti

The exhibition Douglas Gordon: The Morning After was scheduled to open at the Giacometti Institute in Paris on April 24, 2020, placing original works by Gordon side by side with those of Alberto Giacometti. Unfortunately, owing to the covid-19 crisis, the exhibition had to be delayed for a year. As a result, the institution has invited Douglas Gordon to collaborate on several activities from April 2020 through April 2021. This unprecedented partnership, the institute’s first with a contemporary artist, will variously take the form of impromptu interventions, disseminations, exchanges, and meetings on the foundation’s website and in the spaces of the institute and its partners.

Douglas Gordon’s hand alongside a sculpture by Alberto Giacometti at Institut Giacometti, Paris. Artwork © Succession Giacometti. Photo: Thomas Gangnet

Jean Cocteau in front of one of the several murals he painted on the walls of Francine Weisweiller’s Villa Santo Sospir, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, France, 1954. Photo: Edward Quinn

Art Fair

FIAC 2019

October 17–20, 2019, booth B33
Grand Palais, Paris
fiac.com

Gagosian is pleased to participate in FIAC 2019 with Artists on the French Riviera, a special presentation that explores twentieth-century artistic life on the Côte d’Azur. On display are works by Alexander Calder, Jean Cocteau, Alberto Giacometti, Yves Klein, Fernand Léger, Man Ray, Henri Matisse, Francis Picabia, Pablo Picasso, and Edward Quinn, among others.

To receive a PDF with detailed information on the works, please contact the gallery at inquire@gagosian.com. To attend the fair, purchase tickets at fiac.com.

Download the full press release in English (PDF) or French (PDF)

Jean Cocteau in front of one of the several murals he painted on the walls of Francine Weisweiller’s Villa Santo Sospir, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, France, 1954. Photo: Edward Quinn

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Museum Exhibitions

Francis Bacon, Study for a Portrait, 1967, Seattle Art Museum © The Estate of Francis Bacon. Photo: Spike Mafford

On View

Frisson
The Richard E. Lang and Jane Lang Davis Collection

Through November 27, 2022
Seattle Art Museum
www.seattleartmuseum.org

This exhibition celebrates the Friday Foundation’s gift of nineteen artworks from the Lang Collection to the Seattle Art Museum in honor of Seattle collectors Richard E. Lang and Jane Lang Davis. Dating from 1945 to 1976, the paintings, drawings, and sculptures in Frisson represent mature works and pivotal moments of artistic development from some of the most influential American and European artists of the postwar period. Work by Francis Bacon, Willem de Kooning, Helen Frankenthaler, and Alberto Giacometti is included.  

Francis Bacon, Study for a Portrait, 1967, Seattle Art Museum © The Estate of Francis Bacon. Photo: Spike Mafford

Alberto Giacometti, Le Chat, 1951, Fondation Giacometti, Paris © Succession Alberto Giacometti (ADAGP + Fondation Giacometti), 2021

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Giacometti and Ancient Egypt

June 22–October 10, 2021
Institut Giacometti, Paris
www.fondation-giacometti.fr

Juxtaposing sculptures, paintings, and previously unpublished drawings by Alberto Giacometti with a selection of artifacts loaned from the collections of the Musée du Louvre, Paris, this exhibition offers a fresh look at Giacometti’s art through the prism of ancient Egypt. Based on original research into the artist’s sources, it draws connections between emblematic works by Giacometti and Egyptian antiquities, including figures of the scribe and Fayum funerary portraits.

Alberto Giacometti, Le Chat, 1951, Fondation Giacometti, Paris © Succession Alberto Giacometti (ADAGP + Fondation Giacometti), 2021

Jay DeFeo, Untitled (Florence), 1952, Museum of Modern Art, New York © 2020 The Jay DeFeo Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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Degree Zero
Drawing at Midcentury

October 31, 2020–June 5, 2021
Museum of Modern Art, New York
www.moma.org

Bringing together approximately eighty works on paper from the museum’s collection, Degree Zero illuminates how artists used drawing to forge a new visual language in the aftermath of World War II. Modest, immediate, and direct, drawing was the ideal medium for this period of renewal. The exhibition looks across movements, geographies, and generations to highlight connections between artists who shared common materials and ideas between 1948 and 1961. Work by Jay DeFeo, Willem de Kooning, Alberto Giacometti, and Cy Twombly is included.

Jay DeFeo, Untitled (Florence), 1952, Museum of Modern Art, New York © 2020 The Jay DeFeo Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Installation view, Giacometti: Ansikte mot ansikte, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, October 10, 2020–May 30, 2021. Artwork © Succession Alberto Giacometti (ADAGP + Fondation Giacometti), 2021. Photo: Åsa Lundén

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Giacometti
Ansikte mot ansikte

October 10, 2020–May 30, 2021
Moderna Museet, Stockholm
www.modernamuseet.se

Alberto Giacometti forged a singular path within European modernism, restlessly seeking a new language for sculpture as a “double of reality.” Produced in close collaboration with Fondation Giacometti, Paris, this exhibition, whose title translates to Giacometti: Face to Face, is the first large-scale retrospective of the artist’s work in Sweden in more than twenty years. The exhibition traces the evolution of Giacometti’s work from post-Cubism through Surrealism to postwar realism.

Installation view, Giacometti: Ansikte mot ansikte, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, October 10, 2020–May 30, 2021. Artwork © Succession Alberto Giacometti (ADAGP + Fondation Giacometti), 2021. Photo: Åsa Lundén

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Press

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