Created as a partnership between the Giacometti Foundation, Paris, and the Moderna Museet from their large collections, the exhibition showcases more than 100 sculptures and paintings of the artist, from postcubism to the postwar era.
Alberto Giacometti forged a singular path within European Modernism, restlessly seeking a new language for sculpture as a “double of reality”. The exhibition ”Giacometti – Face to Face” trails the evolution of Giacometti’s work from post-cubism through surrealism to post-war realism.
The Dialogue with Georges Bataille, Jean Genet and Samuel Beckett
At the age of twenty-one Alberto Giacometti (1901–1966) arrived in Paris to study sculpture at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. He participated in the intellectual life of the city, which before the Second World War was a hub for artists and intellectuals from all over the world. The close dialogue with the three writers Georges Bataille, Jean Genet and Samuel Beckett had a particularly strong impact on Giacometti. This exhibition sets out to trace the marks that Giacometti’s encounter with Beckett’s irrational, closed-off worlds, Bataille’s violent opposition to staid conventions and Genet’s reverential depictions of life in the margins of society, left on the artist’s work.
Surrealism and Prehistoric Art
Throughout his artistic career, Giacometti was preoccupied with his own inadequacy when it came to depicting reality. In the 1930s he exhibited his work with the Surrealists but soon went his own way. Instead of looking to abstract art, which dominated Paris at the time, Giacometti cast his gaze further back in time – to prehistoric art and non-Western art objects.
The Tall Figures of the Postwar Period
From relatively early on, Giacometti was counted among the major interpreters of the post-war era and today his fragile and strangely elongated figures are associated with the image of a resilient humanity. When working with a model he tried time and again to find a “likeness” between art and what he saw before him, restlessly seeking a new language for sculpture as a “double of reality”. By feeling his way forward with his hands in clay and plaster, he came to change our view of sculpture.
”Giacometti – Face to Face” is the first large-scale retrospective of Alberto Giacometti’s work in Sweden in over twenty years. The exhibition was produced in close collaboration with Fondation Giacometti, Paris.
Curated by Jo Widoff, Moderna Museet, and Christian Alandete, Fondation Giacometti