From 17 Jul To 16 Sep 2012

Alberto Giacometti

Museu de Arte Moderna
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Off site

Fondation Alberto et Annette Giacometti presents the first major retrospective devoted to the work of Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966) in South America. The international touring exhibition will travel across the continent, visiting São Paulo (Pinacoteca do Estado), Rio de Janeiro (Museu de Arte Moderna) and Buenos Aires (Fundación PRMO). The retrospective provides a rare opportunity to see, from March 2012 to early January 2013, over 220 works from the rich collections of the Paris-based Alberto and Annette Giacometti Foundation, the residuary legatee of the artist's widow, Annette Giacometti.

After six months in Brazil, were the show was a huge success with over 115,000 visitors in São Paulo (Pinacoteca do Estado) and over 100,000 visitors in Rio de Janeiro (Museu de Arte Moderna MAM-Rio), the touring exhibition continues in Argentina. Next step will be Fundación Proa in Buenos Aires, where the exhibition opens on October 13, 2012.

The exhibition allows visitors to follow the entire career of one of the greatest masters of twentieth century art, from his training in his father's studio in Switzerland until his last monumental sculptures designed for the Chase Manhattan Bank building in New York. Showing all aspects of Giacometti's production (sculptures, paintings, drawings, decorative arts, prints, writings), the exhibition addresses the main themes in the artist's creative thinking : Cezanne's lesson, the influence of Cubism, the discovery of African art in 1926, the lasting mark of magical thinking and Surrealism, the invention of a new representation of the human being. Through his intellectual quest, Giacometti approached the greatest thinkers of his day : Andre Breton, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and Jean Genet, who are also mentioned in the exhibition through portraits and texts.

The show also is an occasion to recall that Giacometti took contact, in France, with many South American collectors, patrons and art lovers who had been attracted by the cultural emulation of the 1930s Paris. The first collector to acquire a work of Giacometti (La Tête qui regarde) in 1929, was an Argentinian : Elvira de Alvear, the niece of General Carlos Maria de Alvear. This work is included in the exhibition, accompanied by the only Giacometti bronze in a Brazilian public collection : Quatre Femmes sur Socle, belonging to the Museum of Modern Art in Rio and acquired at the São Paulo Biennial in 1951.

In Brazil, the exhibition will highlight the important influence of Giacometti he met with African art in 1926, which marks the beginning of his mature work. It is indeed in contact with African and Oceanic art that Giacometti is developing the concept of a work capital "alive", magic and charged it until the end of his life. In Buenos Aires, decorative art objects from a large order for Argentinian collectors in 1939 will be added to the presentation. Giacometti never set foot in South America, although he was invited by decorator Jean-Michel Frank, with whom he worked since 1930, to join him in Argentina. Jean-Michel Franck had taken refuge in Buenos Aires during the war, and then continued his activity there, importing furniture and decorative arts produced in Paris.

37 paintings, 86 sculptures, 85 drawings and 13 prints and decorative art objects help capture the many aspects of Giacometti's work, collections being completed by rich photographic documentation.

Curated by Véronique Wiesinger, director of the Alberto and Annette Giacometti Foundation and author of the retrospective exhibition at Centre Georges Pompidou in 2007.

A reference book, designed and directed by Véronique Wiesinger and published Brazilian editor Cosac Naify, accompanies the exhibition, and promises to be the most important scientific book ever published on Giacometti in Brazil. It includes an important unpublished essay of Braschi Cecilia on the links between Giacometti and South America.

Result of a three-year long close collaboration between the Alberto and Annette Giacometti Foundation and South American museums of international stature, this ambitious exhibition is designed by the Foundation and produced by cultural projects agency Base7. Under the patronage of the French Embassy in Brazil, the event is supported by the Brazilian Ministry of Culture, as well as by private sponsors (Bradesco, Tenaris Confab), and benefits from the Rouanet Act in favor of cultural patronage in Brazil.

To search for a work, consult the Alberto Giacometti Database