Plâtre de l’Homme qui marche sous la pluie, dans l’atelier de Giacometti, 1949
Photo : Denise Colomb
Archives de la Fondation Giacometti, Paris

From 04 Jul To 29 Nov 2020

The Walking Man. An icon of 20th century art

Paris, France
At the Institut Giacometti

For the first (and probably the last) time, all the life-size models of the Walking Man are gathered together in the same exhibition at the Giacometti Institute in Paris.

Giacometti's most famous work, The Walking Man, more than a masterpiece, is an icon of 20th century art. This exhibition brings together for the first time the various life-size models, as well as most of the sculpted and drawn variations. Accompanied by numerous unpublished documents and drawings, it traces the genealogy of the motif, from the Walking Woman from the Surrealist period to the icons created in 1959-1960.

These works, halfway between image and sign, between figuration and abstraction, bear witness to the artist's tireless quest to represent the essence of the human being. Their timeless and universal dimension gives them a symbolic power, with a particularly strong resonance at this time of restarting our social life.

Curator: Catherine Grenier
Associate curator: Thierry Pautot 

Take a virtual tour of the exhibition!  

Listen the guide audio
Among the works in the exhibition

From the first model in 1932 to the famous figures produced at the end of his career in the 1960s, this motif testifies to the artist's tireless quest to represent the essence of the human being. This embodiment of humanity, which is particularly precious in the present day, places this work among the best known in the world.

The Walking Man was, in his first state, a Woman Walking (1932). The motif indeed appears in a surrealist work, an intriguing Egyptian-inspired figure.
It reappeared after the war, on the occasion of commemorative commissions for which Giacometti explored the modes of representation of a universal human figure (1946). The first Walking Man in large Size (1947), again borrows its attitude from the Egyptian model, whose style Giacometti admires.
On the contrary, the following works draw their inspiration from everyday life. The artist restores the perception of a street situation captured by chance from the terrace of a café.
The very poetic Figurine entre deux maisons (1950), which features a female figure, is reminiscent of the dreamlike atmosphere of the surrealist works.
Three Men Walking (1948), The Square (1948) or Man Crossing a Square (1949), thus translate the fleeting vision of life offered by the movement of people moving in the distance.
The artist did not take up the motif again until 1959, when he received a new commission for the public space. It was under these circumstances that he created the sculptures that are now considered icons of 20th century art. In all, he will have created four life-size Walking Man, three of which are cast in bronze.

Guide audio
Discover "The Walking Man" with comments from the different rooms of the exhibition. Each podcast can be downloaded on your phone by clicking on the icon after starting the podcast. 

#1. Reception – Introduction to the exhibition

#2. Giacometti’s studio

#3. In the cabinet of graphic arts - The drawings of Walking Men

#4. In the corridor - Walking Woman

#5. In the roadside room - The Night and Figurine between two houses

#6. In the traversing room - The squares

#7. In the library - Three large-format sculptures of Walking Man 

#8. In the reading room - The Project for the Chase Manhattan Plaza


L'Homme qui marche

Editions Fage, Lyon, Fondation Giacometti, Paris 2020

Language: French/English

160 p.
24 €

11 Jun 2020

The Walking Man, 1947

11 Jun 2020

The Walking Woman I

From 27 Dec 2020 To 27 Jan 2021

Wajdi Mouawad lit Jean-Paul Sartre

À l'Institut Giacometti

Une performance exceptionnelle au cœur de l'exposition « L'Homme qui marche » en partenariat avec La Colline – théâtre national.

Read more

Découvrez l'Institut Giacometti

Press release

Sur les traces de L'Homme qui marche

Beaux-Arts Magazine, 2020 07 01

Giacometti fait bouger les statues

Le, 2020 07 07

Around the exhibition
10 Sep 2020

Lydie Salvayre reads "Marcher jusqu'au soir"

Stock editions, "Ma nuit au Musée" collection

See you on Thursday, September 10 at 6:30 pm at the Giacometti Institute.

Read more
12 Sep 2020

Yoga classes in the heart of the Giacometti Institute

Animated by Guillaume Boulez

During a yoga class given among the works in the exhibition "The Walking Man", enjoy a pure moment of relaxation and delight on Saturday, September 12 at 9:00 am.

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26 Sep 2020

Sports tour "The woman and the man running"

Around Giacometti Institute

Running enthusiasts or original events lovers, this cultural and sporting trail is made for you! See you on Saturday 26th September and Saturday 28th November from 10am to 11:30am.

Read more
To search for a work, consult the Alberto Giacometti Database