The Walking Man An icon of 20th century art
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 Accompanied by numerous unpublished documents and drawings, it traces the genealogy of the motif, from the Walking Woman from the Surrealist period to the icons created in 1959-1960.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.
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
Découvrez l'Institut Giacometti
Lydie Salvayre reads "Marcher jusqu'au soir"
See you on Thursday, September 10 at 6:30 pm at the Giacometti Institute.
Yoga classes in the heart of the Giacometti Institute
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.
Sports tour "The woman and the man running"
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.
Family workshop / Decoration of a lively square
See you on 11, 12, 25 and 26 July from 3 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. at the Giacometti Lab.
Children's workshop / Sculpture in plaster on iron wire
Bring out movement into matter! See you on July 4, 5, 18 and 19 and August 29 and 30 from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm.