Friday, November 2, 2012

Artist of the Week: Alberto Giacometti Swiss Artist 1901-1966

Alberto Giacometti, "City Square", bronze sculpture, 1948 Alberto Giacometti was a Swiss sculptor, painter, draftsman, and printmaker. Giacometti was a popular artist and sculptor renowned for his complete dedication to his work. Alberto Giacometti is best known for is sculptures of the human form, stretched out with elongated limbs.

Alberto Giacometti was born in the little village of Borgonovo in the Swiss canton of Grisons on October 10, 1901. He spent his first school years in the neighboring village of Stampa. Alberto's father, Giovanni Giacometti, was a neo-impressionist painter, and under his instructions Alberto learned to paint and make models.

His father introduced him to working in the atelier, his godfather (the painter Cuno Amiet) taught him the latest styles and techniques, and the other members of his family assisted with his artistic development by sitting for him as models. In 1916, during high school, Alberto Giacometti displayed total mastery of impressionist language in a portrait of his mother modeled with plastilina. Shortly before graduating from secondary school, Alberto Giacometti dropped out of school in 1919 to fully dedicate himself to art.

Following a trip to Venice and Rome in 1920, during which Giacometti developed a passion for the work of Tintoretto and Giotto, Alberto Giacometti resolved to recover the innocent gaze of man's origins through primitive art and anthropology. In 1922 Alberto Giacometti moved to Paris to study under the sculptor Antoine Bourdelle, an associate of Auguste Rodin. It was there that Alberto Giacomettiexperimented with cubism and surrealism. Among Alberto Giacometti's associates were Joan Miró, Max Ernst, Pablo Picasso and Balthus. It was at this point Alberto Giacometti started writing and drawing for his magazine "Le surréalisme au Service de la Révolution" and he began to establish himself as a leading sculptor of the Surrealist movement.

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