Saturday, August 22, 2015

Artist of the Week: Alberto Giacometti

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. 

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.
 In 1962, Alberto Giacometti was awarded the grand prize for sculpture at the Venice Biennale, and the award brought with it worldwide fame. Giacometti's striding or standing figures find themselves in emptiness and isolation. In this intensive-subjective representation, an existential exposure and angst based on the immediacy of the moment is hinted at. To many they are a reflection of the spiritual situation of the time.

Just like his sculptures, Giacometti's drawings and paintings depict the lost human being in the emptiness of space with great intensity and sensibility. The formal characteristics are a graphic network of lines, with which Alberto Giacometti extracted volumes from areas, and an almost monochrome color scheme used in his paintings.

Even when Alberto Giacometti had achieved popularity and his work was in demand, he still reworked models, often destroying them or setting them aside to be returned to years later. In his later years Giacometti's works were shown in a number of large exhibitions throughout Europe. Riding a wave of international popularity, and despite his declining health, Alberto Giacometti traveled to the United States in 1965 for an exhibition of his works at the New York Museum of Modern Art.

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