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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

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

Jeff Koons, Sacred Heart (Magenta/Gold), 1994–2007 © Jeff Koons

Art Fair

Art Basel 2019

June 13–16, 2019, booth C9
Messe Basel
www.artbasel.com

Gagosian is pleased to participate in Art Basel, presenting works by Georg Baselitz, Joe Bradley, Alexander Calder, Willem de Kooning, Urs Fischer, Ellen Gallagher, Alberto Giacometti, Katharina Grosse, Mark Grotjahn, Jeff Koons, Man Ray, Albert Oehlen, Pablo Picasso, Richard Prince, Ed Ruscha, Richard Serra, Andy Warhol, Mary Weatherford, Tom Wesselmann, and Franz West, 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 artbasel.com.

Jeff Koons, Sacred Heart (Magenta/Gold), 1994–2007 © Jeff Koons

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Museum Exhibitions

Installation view, L’homme qui marche: Une icône de l’art du XXè siècle, Institut Giacometti, Paris, July 4–November 29, 2020 © Succession Alberto Giacometti

On View

L’homme qui marche
Une icône de l’art du XXè siècle

Through November 29, 2020
Institut Giacometti, Paris
www.fondation-giacometti.fr

This exhibition, whose title translates to The Walking Man: An Icon of 20th Century Art, explores Alberto Giacometti’s most famous work, the Walking Man. The show brings together for the first time the various life-size models, as well as most of the sculpted and drawn variations, of the famous artwork. Accompanied by numerous unpublished documents and drawings, it traces the genealogy of the motif, from the Walking Woman of Giacometti’s Surrealist period to the icons created between 1959 and 1960.

Installation view, L’homme qui marche: Une icône de l’art du XXè siècle, Institut Giacometti, Paris, July 4–November 29, 2020 © Succession Alberto Giacometti

Pablo Picasso, Buste de femme de profil (Femme écrivant), 1932, Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel © Succession Picasso/2020, ProLitteris, Zurich

On View

Stilles Sehen
Bilder der Ruhe

Through November 29, 2020
Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel
www.fondationbeyeler.ch

This exhibition, whose title translates to Silent Vision: Images of Calm and Quiet, features works of modern and contemporary art that deal with the subject of tranquility. Each room is dedicated to a specific aspect of calmness, inviting visitors to see and contemplate, as it were, stillness. Work by Alberto Giacometti, Roy Lichtenstein, Pablo Picasso, Gerhard Richter, Richard Serra, and Andy Warhol is included.

Pablo Picasso, Buste de femme de profil (Femme écrivant), 1932, Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel © Succession Picasso/2020, ProLitteris, Zurich

Alberto Giacometti, Projet pour une sculpture, c. 1926 © 2020 Succession Giacometti (Fondation Giacometti, Paris + ADAGP, Paris)

Closed

Alberto Giacometti
À la recherche des oeuvres disparues

February 25–June 21, 2020
Institut Giacometti, Paris
www.fondation-giacometti.fr

This exhibition, whose title translates to In Search of Lost Works, presents the outcome of an investigation into forgotten, lost, or destroyed sculptures by Alberto Giacometti. Reconstructed with the assistance of sketches, notebooks, and archival photographs from the Fondation Giacometti’s archive, lost works from 1920 to 1935 are exhibited alongside well-known works from the same period.

Alberto Giacometti, Projet pour une sculpture, c. 1926 © 2020 Succession Giacometti (Fondation Giacometti, Paris + ADAGP, Paris)

Alberto Giacometti, Boule suspendue, 1930–31, Fondation Giacometti, Paris © 2020 Succession Giacometti (Fondation Giacometti, Paris + ADAGP, Paris)

Closed

Cruels Objets du Désir
Giacometti/Sade

November 21, 2019–February 16, 2020
Institut Giacometti, Paris
www.fondation-giacometti.fr

This exhibition, whose title translates to Cruel Objects of Desire, explores the influence of the Marquis de Sade’s writings on the work and texts of Alberto Giacometti. It includes many of the Surrealist works Giacometti created between 1929 and 1934, photographs of missing works, and unpublished drawings.

Alberto Giacometti, Boule suspendue, 1930–31, Fondation Giacometti, Paris © 2020 Succession Giacometti (Fondation Giacometti, Paris + ADAGP, Paris)

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Press

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